Skip to main content

Full text of "Way Of Initiation"

See other formats


the 

WAY OF initiation 


OR 


HOW TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE OP 

higher worlds 


THE 


by 


RUDOLF STEINER, 


WITH A FOREWORD BY 

ANNIE BESANT 
and some biographical notes (5f the 
EDOUARD SCHUR6 


Ph.D. 



T>31'3 

Second Impression 



LONDON 

theosophical publishing society 

1909 



A:S 

Da' 

I5(X) printed DeeemS^igoS 
1^00 printed May 1909 




TRANSLATOR’S NOTE 


Being deeply interested in Dr. Steiner’s work 
teachings, and desirous of sharing with mT 
English-speaking friends the many ia valuable 
glimpses of Truth wlich are to be found therein 
I decided upon the translation of the pr^nt 
volume. It is due to the kind co-operation of 
several friends who prefer to be anonymous that 
bhis task has been accomplished, and I wish to 
express my hearty thanks for the literary assist- 
ance rendered by them— also to thank Dr. Peipers 
of Munich for permission to reproduce bia ©srceHent 
photograph of the author. 


The special value of this volume consists, X 
think, in the fact that no advice is given and no 
statement made which is not based on the 
personal experience of the author, who is, in the 
truest sense, both a mystic and an occultish* 

If the present volume should meet with a 
reception justifying a further venture, we proper 
translating and issuing during the coming year a 
further series of articles by Dr. Steiner in con- 
tinuation of the same subject, and a third volume 
• will consist of the articles now appearing in the 
pages of The Theosophist, entitled The Ekincation 
of Children.^’ 


MAX G-YSI. 


Belsizb LoDaB, Bblsize Lane, 
London, N.W., 

Zrd November 1908. 



foreword 

to* recommend thi 

valuable l.ttle work to English readers 
■ tevmg Aealated the artiold 

Dr. Steiner's views, te 

*7 - luCstZ * “■SS^t^^ChKtiat 

theosophy, are of very great utnitv, 
^ ™pp jmg a side of Theosophical thought 

, ^ “git otherwise miss attingrecogni- 

of the great 

®S 2 SLSE&os, and adds to thdr pro 
tamd spirituaUty t^auejncidity of a 
plul080plup_ jpind. Under his guidance 
' “oosophy is ta^ its right 

place m European thought, and is be- 
a real force If English readers 
d heroin presentments of great truths 


IPI 


% 


tlidit 866111 soiD6wli3>t let thsm 

r6ni6inb6r that in this difference lies their 
specific value, and let them seels to gain 
new views of truth by studying it from 
another standpoint. If they read, sympa- 
thetically, seeking to undex'stand, rather 
than in the spirit of antagonism, seeking 
to criticise, they will find many a gem of 
value, many a pearl of price, among the 
thoughts herein presented, and Theo- 
sophy’s jewelled diadem will l>e the richer 
for their insetting. 

ANNIE BESANT, 

Preside}^ of the Seci'elf . 

Abtab, 

VJth l:kptember 1908. 



CONTENTS 

PA&E 


THE PERSONALITY OF RUDOLF STEINER AND 

HIS DEVELOPMENT 1 

1. THE SUPERPHYSICAL WORLD AND ITS GNOSIS 41 

2. HOW TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER 

WORLDS 66 

3. THE PATH OF DISCIPLBSHIP ... 88 

4. PROBATION 112 

5. ENLIGHTENMENT 130 

6. INITIATION 167 

7. THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF THE SOUL , 194 

8. THE CONDITIONS OF DISCIPLBSHIP . . 215 



THE PERSONALITY OF 
RUDOLF STEINER AND 
HIS DEVELOPMENT 

By EDOUARD SCHUR^: * 

* 

Many of even the most cultivated men 
of our time have a very mistaken idea of 
what is a true mystic and a true occultist. 
They know these two forms of human 
mentality only by their impei'fect or 
degenerate types, of which recent times 
have afforded but too many examples. 
To the intellectual man of the day, the 
mystic is a kind of fool and visionary who 
takes his fancies for facts ; the occultist 
is a dreamer or a charlatan who abuses 
public credulity in order to boast of an 
•imaginary science and of pretended powers. 
Be it remarked, to begin with, that this 

* Translated by kind permission of the author from 
the introduction to Le Mysth-e ChrStien et les MysUres 
Antiques* Traduit de Fallemand par Edouard Schur6, 
Librairie acad4mique, Perrin & Co., 1908, Paris. 



definition of mysticism, though deserved 
by some, would be as unjust as erroneous 
if one sought to apply it to such person- 
alities as Joachim del Fiore of the 
thirteenth century, Jacob Boehme of the 
sixteenth, or St. Martin, who is called 
“ the unknown philosopher,” of the 
eighteenth century. No less unjust and 
false would be the current definition 
of the occultist if one saw in it the 
slightest connection with such earnest 
seekers as Paracelsus, Mesmer, or Fabre 
d’Olivet in the past, as William Crookes, 
de Eochat, or Camille Flammarion in the 
present. Think what we may of these 
I bold investigators, it is undeniable that 
; they have opened out regions unknown to 
I science, and furni^ed the mind with new 
' ideas. 

No, these fanciful definitions can at 
most satisfy that scientific dilettantism 
which hides its feebleness under a super- 
ciMous mask to screen its indolence, or the 



( 3 ) 

worldly scepticism which ridicules aU that 
threatens to upset its indifference. But 
enough of these superficial opinions. Let 
us study history, the sacred and profane , 
nations, and the last results 
science; let us subject 
all these facts to impartial criticism, 
mferring similar effects from identical 
causes, and we shall be forced to give 
quite another definition of the mystic and 
the occultist. 

The mystic is a man who enters ^ 
into foil possession of his inner life, and 
who, having become cognisant of his sub- 'jj 
consciousness, finds in it, through eon- \ 
centrated meditation and steady discipline, I 
new faculties and enlightenment. These J 
new faculties and this enlightenment |‘i 
instruct him as to the innermost nature of 
his soul and his relations with that im- | 
palpable element which underlies all, with I 
that eternal and supreme reality which I 
rehgion calls God, and poetry the Divine. '' 



The occultis t, akin to the mystic, but 
differing from him as a younger from an 
elder brother, is a man endowed with 
intuition and with synthesis, who seeks 
to penetrate the hidden depths and 
foundations of Nature by the methods 
of science and philosophy : that is to say, 
by observation and reason, methods in- 
variable in principle, but modified in 
application by being adapted to the 
descending kingdoms of Spirit or the 
ascending kingdoms of Nature, according 
to the vast hierarchy of beings and the 
alchemy of the creative Word. 

The mystic, then, is one who seeks for 
truth an3* the divine directly within him- 
self, by a gradual detachment and a 
veritable birth of his higher soul. If he 
attains it after prolonged effort, he plunges* 
into his own glowing centre. Then he 
immerses himself, and identifies himself 
with that ocean of life which is the prim- 
ordial Force. 


The occultist, on the other hand, dis- 
covers, studies, and contemplates this 
same Divine outpouring, given forth in 
diverse portions, endowed with force, and 
multiplied to infinity in Nature and in 
Humanity. According to the profound 
saying of Paracelsus : he sees in all beings 
ifie letters of an alphabet, which, united in 
man, form the complete and conscious Word 
of life. The detailed analyses that he 
makes of them, the syntheses that he 
constructs with them, are to him as so 
many images and forecastings of this 
central Divine, of this Sun of Beauty, of 
Truth and of Life, which he sees not, but 
which is reflected and bursts upon his 
vision in countless mirrors. 

The weapons of the mystic ai'e concen- 
tration and inner vision ; the weapons of 
the occultist are intuition and synthesis. 
Each corresponds to the other ; they 
complete and presuppose each other. 

These two human types are ble nded in 



the Adept, in the higher Initiate. No 
doubt one or the other, and often both, 
are met with in the founders of greafe 
religions and the loftiest philosophies. 
No doubt also they are to be found again, 
in a less, but still very remarkable degree, 
among a certain number of personages 
who have played a great part in history as, 
reformers, thinkers, poets, artists, states- 
men. 

Why, then, should these two types of 
mind, which represent the highest human, 
faculties, and were formerly the object of 
universal veneration, usually appear to us 
now as merely deformed and travestied ? 
Why have they become obliterated ? 
Why should they have fallen into such, 
discredit ? 

> That is the result of a profound cause 
existing in an iij^dlable „nece^^^^^ 

hra^njgxaMon. 

During the last two thousand years, but. 
especially since the sixteenth century. 





( 7 ) 

humaiiity has achieved a tremendous i 
work, namely, the conquest of the globe I 
and the constitution of experimental 
science, in what concerns the material* 
and visible world. 

That this gigantic and herculean task 
should bo successfully accomplished, it ^ 
jvas nocessaiy that there should be a 1 
temporary eclipse of man’s transcen- 
dentel faculties, so that his whole power 
of observation might be concentrated on’ 
the outer world. These faculties, how- 
ever, have never been extinct or even 
inactive. They lay dormant in the mass 
of men ; they remained active in the elect, 
far from the gasse of the vulgar. 

Now, they are showing themselves 
openly under new forms. Before long 
* they will assume a leading and directing 
importance in human destinies. I would 
add that at no period of history, whether 
among the nations of the ancient Aryan 
cycle, or in the Semitic civilisations of 


Asia and Africa — ^whether in the Graeco- 
Latin world, or in the middle ages and ia 
modern times, have these royal faculties, 
for which positivism would substitute its 
dreary nomenclature, ever ceased to 
operate at the beginning and in the back- 
ground of all great human creations and 
of all fruitful work. For how can wg 
imagine a thinker, a poet, an inventor, 
a hero, a master of science or of art, a 
geniu s of any kind, without a mighty ray 
I of those two master-faculties which make 
• the mystic and the occultist — the inner 
' vision and the sovereign intuition? 

* * * 

Rudolf Steiner is both a mystic and 
an occultist. These two natures appear 
in him in perfect harmony. One could 
not say which of the two predominates 
over the other. In intermingling and 
blending, they have become one homo- 
geneous force. Hence a special develop- 


( » ) 

merit in which outward events play but a 
secondary part. 

Dr. Steiner was born in Upper Austria 
in 1861. His earliest years were passed 
in a little town situated on the Leytha, 
on the borders of^Styria, the Carpathians, 
and Hungary. From childhood his 
^laiacter was serious and concentrated. 
This was followed by a yjouth inwardly 
illuminated by the most marvello^'ln- 
t^^^on^, a young manhood encountering 
terrible trials, and a ripe age crowned 
by a mission which he had dimly fore- 
seen from his earliest years, but which 
was only gradually formulated in the 
struggle for truth and life. This youth, 
passed in a mountainous and secluded 
region, was happy in its way, thanks to 
* the exceptional ^facuLtifia that he dis- 
covered in himself. He was employed in 
a Catholic church as a choir boy. The 
poetry of the worship, the profundity of 
the symbolism, had a mysterious attrac- 


( 10 ) 

fi,,n for liim; but, as possessed the 

litnato seeing souls ^ terri- 

fi.-d hii»- This was the secret unbelief of 
jthe priests, entirely en^ossed in the ritual 
‘and the material part of the service. 
"There was another peculiarity: no one, 
either then or later, allowed himself to 
talk of any gross superstition in his pre§,- 
cnce, or to utter any blasphemy, as if those 
calm and penetrating eyes compelled the 
•peafeer to serious thought. In this child, 

amd inflenWe jyill, to master things 
throiagh^junderstanding. That was easier 
for him than for others, for he possessed 
fr»>m jthe^&st that self-mastery, so rare 
eifen in. the adult, which gives the mastery 
.. ^«jers. To ' wilf'^was 

jadd«i a. warm^ deep,, ahd almost painful" 
*.^“*l^,tliy ; a kind of pit^ tenderness 
. ^ . beings _and eyeu , to inanimate 

It seemed to him that all souls 
m*i m them sometlB^ "^amS'er But in 



what a stony crust is hidden the shining 
gold ! In what hard rock, in what dark 
gloom lay dormant the precious essence ! 
Vaguely^as yet did this idea stir within 
him — ho was to develop it later — that 
the divine soul is present in all men, ^ 
but in a latent state. It is a sleeping 
Qgptivo that has to bo awakened from 
enchantment. 

To the sight of this young thinker, 
human sou^ became transparent, with their 
troubles, their desires, their paroxysms of 
hatred or of love. And it was probably 
owing to the terrible things he saw, that 
he spoke so little. And^et, what delights,* 
u nknown to the wor lds sprang, fromjthis 
i fivoluntary clairyoyanee I Among the re- 
markable inner revelations of this youth, 
*I will instance only one which was ex-' 
tromely characteristic. 

The vast plains of Hungary, the wild 
Carpathian forests, the old churches of 
those mountains in which the monstrance 



( 12 ) 

glows brightly as a sun in the darkness of 
the sanctuary, were not there for nothing, 
but they were helpful to meditation and 
contemplation. 

j At fifteen years of a^e, Steiner became 
Acquainted with a herbalist at that time 
(staying in his country. The remarkable 
thing about this man was that he knew 
not only the species, families, and life of 
plants in their minutest details, but also 
their secret virtues. One would have 
said that he had spent his life in convers- 
ing with the unconscious and fluid soul of 
herbs and flowers. He _had the gift of 
seeing the vital principle of plants, _their 
ethCT^lmdy, and what occultism calls the 
elementals of the , vegetable world. He 
tjdked of it as of a quite ordinary and 
natural thing. The calm and coolly scien- 
tific tone of his conversation did but still 
further excite the curiosity and admiration 
of the youth. L^t^ od^ Ste iner k new that 
th is st range man was a messenger from 




( 18 ) 

the Master, whom as yet he knew not, but 
who was to be his real initiator, and who 
was already watching over him from afar. 

What the curious, double-sighted herbal- 
ist told him, young Steiner found to be in 
accordance with the logic of things. That 
did but confirm an inner feeling of long 
i^anding, and which more and more forced 
itself on his mind as the fundamental 
Law, and as the basis of the Great All. 
That is to say : the twq-f<M current which: 
consHtutes the very movement of the world^ X 
and which might be called the ^ fiux and^ 
reflv^ of the universal life. 

We are all witnesses and are conscious 
of the outward current of evolution, which 
urges onward all beings of heaven and of 
earth — stars, plants, animals, and human- 
* ity — and causes them to move forward to- 
wards an infinite future, without our per- 
ceiving the initial force which impels them 
and makes them go on without pause or 
rest. But there is in the vtmjeTs e an in- 



mrse current, which interposes itself and 
perpetually Ijreaks in on tlie other. It is 
that of involution, by which the prineiples, 
forces, entities, and souls which conie from 
the invisible world and the kingdom of 
the Eternal infiltrate and ceaseles-sly inter- 
mingle with the visible reality. No evolu- 
tion of matter would be comprehensiblii 
without thi.s occult and astral mirrent, 
which is the great propeller of life, with its 
hierarchy of powers. Thus the Spirit, 
j which contains the future in gm'm, invoim$ 
itself in matter; thus matter, wdiich re- 
‘ccives the Spirit, emlves towards the future. 
While, thou, wo are moving on blindly 
towards the unknown future, this future 
is approaching us consciously, infu.sing 
itself in the current of the world and man 
N who elaborate it. Suck is the two-Jhld 
of time, the out-breathing and 
'ithe in-breathing cf the soul cf the world, 
which comes from the Eternal and returns 
: thither. 



( 15 ) 

From t he age of eighteen^ Steiner : 

possessed the spontaneous consciousness | 
of t his two-fQld current — a consciousness I 
which is the condition of all spiritual ! 
yisi on. This vital axiom was forced upon « 
him by a direct and involuntary seeing of 
things. Thenceforth he had the unmis- 
takable sensation of occult powers which 
were working behind and through him 
for his guidance. He gave heed to this 
force and obeyed its admonitions, for he 
felt in profound accordance with it. 

This kind of perception, however, 
formed a separate category in his in- 
tellectual life. This class of truths seemed 
to him something so profound, so mys- 
terious, and so sacred, that he never 
imagined it possible to express it in words.i 
*He fed his soul thereon, as from a divine 
fountain, but to have scattered a drop of 
it beyond would have seemed to him a 
profanation. 

Beside this inner and contemplative 


( 16 ) 

life, his rational and philosophic mind was 
powerfully developing. From sixteen to 
seventeen years of age, Eudolf Steiner 
plunged deeply into the study of Kant, 
Fichte, and Schelling. When he came 
to Vienna some years after, he became 
an ardent admirer of Hegel, whose trans- 
cendental idealism borders on occultisni; 
but speculative philosoply did not satisfy 
him. His positive mind demanded the 
solid basis of the sciences of observa- 
tion. So he deeply studied mathematics, 
chemistry, mineralogy, botany, and zoology. 

“ These studies,” he said, “ afford a surer 
basis for the construction of a spiritual 
system of the imiverse than history and 
literature. The latter, wanting in exact 
methods, could thus throw no side-hghts 
on the vast domain of German science.”* 
Inquiring into everythii^, enamoured of 
high art, and an enthusiast for poetry, 
Steiner neverth eless did not neglect 
litera^ studi es. As a guide therein he 


( 17 ) 

found an eJcceUent professor in the person 
of Julias Schroer, a distinguished scholar 
of the school of the brothers Grimm, who 
strove to develop in his pnpils the art o 
oratory and of composition. To this dis- 
tinguished man the young student owed 
his great and refined Uterary culture. 

<■ In the desert of prevailing matenahsm, 'i 
says Steiner, “his house was to me an 
oasis of idealism. 

But this was not yet the Master whom 
he sought. Amidst these varied studies 
and deep meditations, he conU as yet 
discern the building of the universe but 
in a fragmentary way ; his inborn intui- 
tion prevented any doubt of divine 
origin of things anil of a spiritual Beyond. 
A diltinctive mark of this extraordinary 

■Vnan was that he never knew “7 ‘X 
crises of doubt and despair wbicb usually 
accompany tbe transition to a definite con- 
Xion in L life of mystics and of thmk^^ 
Nevertbeless. he Mt that tbe central light 


( 18 ) 

which illumines and penetrates the whole 
was still lacking in him. He had reached 
young manhood, with its terrible problems. 
What was he going to do with his life? 
The sphinx of destiny was facing him. 
How should he solve its problem ? 

It was at the age of nineteen that the 
aspirant to the mysteries met with ]^is 
guid^the Mastetr^so long anticipated. 

It is an undoubted fact, admitted by 
occult tradition and confirmed by ex- 
; perience, that those who seek the higher 
I truth from an impersonal motive find a 
I master to imtiate . them at t^^ 

I mome nt : that is to say, when they are 
ripe for its reception. “Knock, and it 
shall be opened to you, ” said Jesus. That 
is true inth regard to everything, but 
above aU with regard to truth. Only* 
k the d^ire must be ardent as a flame, in a 
1* soul pure as cryst al 

I The Master of Rudolf Steiner was one 
of tih(^e men of power who live, unknown 


( 19 ) 

to the world, under cover of some civil j 

state, to ea^ " .rZ^er ? 

by any but their fellows m the Brother- ^ 

hood of self-sacrificing Masters. They 

take no ostensibly part in human events^ 

To remain unknown is the condition 

their power, but their action is only the . 

more efficacious. For they inspire, pre- « 

pare, and direct those who will act in thejj 

Lht of all. In the present instance ther 

Master had no difficulty in completing the 

first and spontaneous initiation of his 

disciple. He had only, so to speak, to 

point out to him Ins own nature, to arm 

him with his needful weapons. Clearly did 

to show him the connection between the 

ordinary and the secret sciences • “ 

thTreligious and the spiritual forces which 

•arc now contending for the guidance id 

humanity 1 the antiquity of tho occult ti.i- 

dkn which holds the hidden threads o 

history, which mingles them, separates, and 

re-unites them in the course of ages. 


( 20 ) 

Swiftly he made him clear the successive 
stages of inner discipline, in order to 
attain conscious and intelligent clair- 
voyance. In a few months the disciple 
learned from oral teaclyng the depth and 
incomparable splendour of the esoteric 
synthesis. Eudolf Steiner had already 
sketched for himself his intellectual 
mission : “ To re-unite Science and 

Religion. To bring back God into 
Science, and Nature into Religion. Thus 
to re-fertilise both Art and Life.” But 
how to set about this vast and daring 
undertaking? How conquer, or rather, 
how tame and transform the great enemy, 
the materialistic science of the day, which 
is like a terrible dragon covered with 
its carapace and couched on its huge^ 
treasure? How master this dragon of 
modern §gien ce an d yoke it to the car of 
^iritual truyi ? And, “ ahove all, how 
conq uer t he buILof publfr opmion ? 

Rudolf Steiner’s ]\^ter was not in 


( 21 ) 

the least like himself. He had not that 
extreme and feminine sensibility which, 
though not excluding energy, makes 
every contact an emotion and instantly 
turns the suffering of others into a per- 
sonal pain. He was masculine in spirit, 
a born ruler of men, looking only at the 
isypecies, and for whom individuals hardly 
existed. He spared not himself, and he 
did not spare others. His will was like 
a ball which, once shot from the cannon’s 
mouth, goes straight to its mark, sweeping 
off everything in its way. To the anxious 
questioning of his disciple he replied in 
substance : 

“If thou wouldst fight the enemy, begins 
by understanding him. Thou wilt con-? 
quer the dragon only by penetrating his I 
* skin. As to the bull, thou must seize him !/ 
by the horns. It is in the extremity of| 
disti'ess that thou wilt find thy weapons ] 
and thy brothers in the fight. I have shown | 
thee who thou art, now go — and he thyself! ’’ 



Kudolf Steiner knew the language of 
the Masters well enough to understand 
the rough path that he was thus com- 
manded to tread ; but he also understood 
that this was the only ^ay to attain the 
end. He obeyed, and set forth. 

^ ^ ^ 

W W W 

From 1880 the life of Rudolf Steiner 
becomes divided into three quite distinct 
periods : from twenty to thirty years of 
age (1881-1891), the Viennese period, a 
time of study and of preparation ; from 
thirty to forty (1891-1901), the Weimar 
period, a time of struggle and combat; 
from forty to forty-six (1901-1907), the 
Berlin period, a time of action and of 
organisation, in which his thought crystal- 
lised into a living work. 

I pass rapidly over the Vienna period, 
in which Steiner took the degree of 
Doctor of Philosophy. He afterwards 
wrote a series of scientific articles on 



( 23 ) 

zoology, geology, and the theory of colours, 
in which theosophical ideas appear in an 
idealist clothing. While acting as tutor 
in several families, with the same con- 
scientious devotion that he gave to every- 
thing, he conducted as chief editor a 
weekly Viennese paper, the Deutsche 
WochenschHft. His friendship with the 
Austrian poetess, Marie Eugenie delle 
Grazie, cast, as it were, into this period of 
heavy work a warm ray of sunshine, with 
a smile of grace and poetry. 

In 1890 Steiner was summoned to 
collaborate in the archives of Goethe and 
Scliiiller at Weimar, to superintend the 
re-editing of Goethe’s scientific works. 
Shortly after, he published two important 
works, 7'ruth and Science and The PhUo- 
* scyphy of Liberty. “ The occult powers that 
guided me,” he says, “forced me to in- 
troduce spiritualistic ideas imperceptibly 
into the current literature of the time.’» 
But in these various tasks he was but 




( 2i) 

studying his ground while trying his 
strength. So distant was the goal that 
he did not dream of being able to reach it 
as yet. To travel round the world in a 
sailing vessel, to cross^the Atlantic, the 
Pacific and the Indian Ocean, in order to 
return to a European port, would have 
seemed easier to him. While awaiting 
the events that would allow him to equip 
his ship and to launch it on the open sea, 
he came into touch with two illustrious 
personalities who helped to determine his 
intellectual position in the contemporary 
world. 

These two persons were the celebrated 
philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, and the 
no less fajupus naturalist, Ern st . Ha eck el. 

Eudolf Steiner had just written an 
impartial treatise on the^ author of 
Zarat^ViStara. In consequence of this, 
Nietzsche’s sister begged the sympathetic 
critic to come and see her at Naumburg, 
where her unhappy brother was slowly 




( 26 ) 

dying. Madame Foerster took the visitor 
to the door of the apartment where 
Nietzsche was lying on a couch in a 
comatose condition, inert, stupefied. To 
Steiner there was^ something very signifi- 
cant in this melancholy sight. In it he 
saw the final act in the tragedy of the 
w^uld-be “ superman,” 

The author of Beyond Good and Eml 
had not, like the realists of Bismarck- 
ian imperialism, renounced idealism, for 
he was naturally intuitive; but in his 
individualistic pride he sought to cut off 
the spiritual world from the universe, and 
the divine from human consciousness. 
Instead of placing the “superman,” of 
whom he had a poetic vision, in the 
spiritual kingdom, which is his true sphere, 
*he strove to force him into the material 
world, which alone was real in his eyes. 
Hence, in that splendid intellect arose a 
chaos of ideas and a wild struggle which 
finally brought on softening of the brain. 


( 28 ) 

To explain this particular case, it is need- 
less to bring in atavism or the theory of 
degeneracy. The frenzied combat of ideas 
and of contradictory sentiments, of which 
this brain was the battlefield, was enough. 
Steiner had done justice to all the genius 
that marked the innovating ideas of 
Nietzsche, but this victim of pride, sejf- 
destroyed by negation, was to him none the 
less a tragic instance of the ruin of a mighty 
intellect which madly destroys itself in 
breaking away from spiritual intelligence. 

Madame Foerster did her utmost to 
enrol Dr. Steiner under her brother’s flag. 
For this she used aU her skill, making 
repeated offers to the young publicist to 
become editor and commentator of Niet- 
zsche’s works. Steiner withstood her in- 
sistence as best he could, and ended by 
taking himself off altogether, for which 
Madame Foerster never forgave him. 
She did not know that Eudolf Steiner 
bore within him the consciousness of a 


( 27 ) 

work no less great and more valuable 
than that of her brother. 

Niet2sche had been merely an interest- 
ing episode in the life of the esoteric 
thinker on the threshold of his battle- 
field. His meeting with the celebrated |. 
ng-tu ralist,. Ernst Haeckel, on the contrjiry, f 
marks a most important phase m the ' 
development of his thought. Was not | 
the successor of Darwin apparently the 
most formidable adversary of the spiritual- 
ism of this young initiate, of that philo- 
sophy which to him was the very essence 
of his being and the breath of his thought ? 
Indeed, since the broken link bet-ween 
man and animal has been re-joined, since 
man can no longer believe in a special 

and supernatural origin, he has begrm 
• 

altogether to doubt his divine origin and 
destiny. He no longer sees himself as; 
anything but one phenomenon among soj 
many phenomena, a passing form amidst! 
so many forms, a frail and chance link in^ 


a blind evolution. Steiner, then, is right 
in saying: “The mentality^Huced frorn 
i natural sciences is the greatest power of 
^ modern times.” On the other hand, he 
knew that this system^ merely reproduces 
a succession of external forms among living 
beings, and not the inner and acting forces 
of life. He knew it from personal initia- 
tion, and a deeper and vaster view of the 
universe. So also he could exclaim with 
more assurance than most of our timid 
spiritualists and startled theologians : “ Is 
the human soul then to rise on the wings 
of enthusiasm to the summits of the True, 
the Beautiful, ^d the Good, only to be 
swept awaj into nothingness, like a bul^ble 
oLtfeg— fetaAii?” Yes, ^aggkel was the 
Adversary. It was materialism in arms, 
"Ithe dragiMft- with all his scales, his claws, 

. and hia. teeth. 

Steiner’s desire to understand this man, 
and to do him justice as to all that was 
great in him, to fathom his theory so far 


( 29 ) 

as it was logical and plausible, was only 
the more intense. In this fact one sees 

t 

all the loyalty and all the greatness of his i 
comprehensive mind. 

The materialistic^onclusions of Haeckel 
could have no influence on his own ideas, 
which~ came to him from a different 
science ; but he had a presentiment that 
in the indisputable discoveries of the 
naturalist he should find the surest basis 
of an evolutionary spiritualism and a 
rational theosophy. 

He began, then, to study eagerly the 
History of Natural Creation. In it Haeckel 
gives a fascinating picture of th^ evolution 
of_s£e^cies, from the amoeba to m^ In 
it he shows the successive gro.’vyth of 
organs, and the physiological process by 
which living beings have raised themselves 
to organisms more and more complex and 
more and more perfect. But in this ? 
stupendous transformation, w^eh implies | 
millions^ and miUions of yoars, he never 


# 



explains the initial force of this universal 
ascent, nor the series of special impulses 
■which cause heings to rise step by step. 
To these primordial questions, Haeckel 
has never been able |o reply except by 
admitting spontaneous generati on,^ which 
is tantamount to a miracle as great as the 
creation of man by God from a clod* of 
earth. To a theosophist like Steiner, on 
the other hand, the cosmic force which 
elaborates the world comprises in its 


spheres, fitted one into another, the 
myriads of souls which crystallise a,nd 
incarnate ce^elessly in all beings. He, 
who saw the underside of creation, could 
but recognise and admire the extent of 
the all-round gaze "vrith which Haeckel 
surveyed his ahove. It was in vain that 

the natimalist^ would dpBy the. ^yine 

Author of the unive rsal .schem e ; he proved 


^ A speeeli delivered in Pscris, 28tli August 1878. 
See also HaeckeFs History of Natural Creation^ IStli 
lecture. 


it in spite of himself, in so well describ- 
ing His work. As to the theosophist, he 
greeted, in the surging of species and in | 
the breath which urges them onward — 
Man in the making, the very thought of 
God, the visible expres.sion of the planet- 
ary Word.^ 

,Wliile thus pursuing his studios, liudolf 
Steiner recalled the saying of his Master : 

^ This is how Dr. Steiner himself describes the ^ 

famous German naturalist : ‘‘ Haeckers Tiers ouality is 

ca ptivatiiifj; . It is the most complete contrast to the 
tone of his writings* ^fllaepkel had but made a alight 
sjudj of the philosophy of which h© speaks, not even 
as a dilettante, but like a child, h^ would have drawn 
the most lofty spiritual concluaious from liis phylo~! 
gtmeim .Jitpclics- .grand, but 

Haeckel himself is the worst of commeutatora on his 
do^ljrui©. It is not by showing our contemporaries 
the weak points In Haeckers doctrine that we can 
ipromote intellectual progress, but by pointing out to 
them the grandeur of his phylogenetic thought/^ 

^ Steiner has diwcsloped these ideas in two works: 

\ IFifW und Lehemamchaumgen im 19/en Jahrhundert 
j (Theories of the Universe ami of Life in the Nineteenth 
! Century), and Haeckel und mine Qegn&r (Haeckel and 
! his Opponents)* 


( 82 ) 

“To conquer the dragon, his skin must 
he penetrated.” While stealing within 
the carapace of present-day materialism, 
he had seized his weapons. Henceforth 
he was ready for the cqmbat. He needed 
hut a field of action to give battle, and 
a powerful aid to uphold him therein. 
;He was to find his field in the Theogo- 
I , phical Society, and his aid in a remai’kable 
■ woman. 

■ “^n 1897 Rudolf Steiner went to Berlin 

^ to conduct a hterary magazine and to give 
lectures there. 

On his arrival, he found there a branch 
of the Theosophical Society. The 
German branch of this Society was 
always noted for its great independence, 
which is natural in a country of trans- 
cendental philosophy and of fastidioua. 
criticism. It had already made a con- 
siderable contribution to occult literature 
through the interesting periodical. The 
Sphinx, conducted by Dr. Hiibbe-Schleiden, 




( 33 ) 

and Dr. Carl du Prel’s book — Fhilosophie 
der Mystik. Hut, the leaders having re- 
tired, it was almost over with the group. 
Great discussions and petty wranglings 
divided the the«sophists beyond the 
Khine. Should Rudolf Steiner enter the 
Theosophical Society ? This question 
fosced itself urgently upon him, and it 
was of the utmost gravity, both for him- 
self and for his cause. 

Through his first Master, through the 
brotherhood with which he was associated, 
and bjr his own innermost nature, Steiner 
belongs to another school of occultism, 
I mean to tlm esoteric Christianity of the. 
West, and most especially to the Rc^i- 
crucmn initiation. 

After mature consideration he resolved 
to join the Theosophical Society of which 
he became a xnember in 1902. He did 
not, however, enter it as a pupil of the 
Eastern tradition, but as an initiate 
of Rosicrucian esotericism who gladly 



f 


( 84 ) 

^?recognised the profound depth of the 
Hindu Wisdom and offered it a brotherly 

I Mud to make a magnetic link between 
;the two. He understood that the two 
traditions were not meant to contend with 
each other, but to act in concert, with 
complete mdependence7and thus to work 
f or the ^mmon ^ood of cryilisation. The 
Hindu tradition, in fact, contains the 
greatest treasure of occult science as 
regards cosmogony and the prehistoric 
periods of humanity, while the tradition 
of Christian and Western esotericism 
looks from its immeasurable height upon 
the far-off future and the final destinies 
of our race. For the past contains and 
prepares the future, as the future issues 
from the past and completes it. 

Rudolf Steiner was assisted in his work 
by a powerful recruit and one of inesti- 
mable value in the propagandist work that * 
he was about to undertake. 

Mile. Marie von Sivers, a Russian by 


( 35 ) 

birth, and of an unusually varied cosmo- 
politan education (she writes and speaks 
Kussian, French, German, and English 
equally well), had herself also reached 
Theosophy by o*iher roads, after long 
seeking for the truth which illumines all ] 
because it illumines the very depths of| 
o«r own being. The extreme refinement^ 
of her aristocratic nature, at once modest 
and proud, her great and delicate sensi- 
tiveness, the extent and balance of her 
intelligence, her artistic and mental 
endowments, all made her wonderfully 
fitted for the part of an agent and an 
apostle. The Oriental theosophy had 
attracted and delighted, her without 
altog§ther„conyiiiQing her. The lectures 
^of Dr. Steiner gave her the light which 
convinces by casting its beams on all 
sides, as from a transplendent centre. 
Independent and free, she, like many^ 
Russians in good society, sought for some ’ 
ideal work to which she could devote* 


( 36 ) 

She had found it. Dr. 

tier en » • j^ted General 

tta 6®”“ 

^•^’'^tnUcal Society, Mile. Marie von 

^ ‘V"e° s Cme his assiatant From that 
in spreading the work thronghont 
!i"riany md the adjacent conntries she 
laved a real genius for organisatron. 
™SrS»ed with unwearied activity. 

^ for Bndolf Steiner , he had already 
ample proof of his profound thought 
his eloquence. He^J^?j2aS£ • 

he was_masW ot_M!n^f- B“‘ 

fiitfiTSnch devotion must have increased 
■hJjB energy a hundredfold, and given 

tiaags to his words, ff. 
esoteric qu^Sns followed one.anqtherjn 


a- Die Mystik, im Aufgange des neuzdtlichm Geides- 
( 1 ^ 01 ); Das Ghristentum als mystisehe lot- 
^^(1902) ; TkeoeopUie (1904). He ie now pre- 
paring an important book, whicb will no doubt be Im 
work, and wbicb is to be called Geheimmsi^emehaft 
Science). 


( 37 ) 

He delivered lectures in Berlin, Leipzig, 
Cassel, Munich, Stuttgart, Vienna, Buda- 
pest, etc. All h is books are of a high 
standard. He is equally skilled in the 
deduction of idea?* in philosophical order, 
and in rigorous analysis of scientific facts. 

And when he so chooses, he can give a 
poetical form to his thought, in original 
and striking imagery. But his whole self 
is shown only by his presence and his 
speech, private or public. The character- t * ■ ‘ 
istic of his eloquence is a singular force, 

al way s gentle in expression, resulting 

undoubtedly from perfect serenity of soul- 
combined with wonderful clearness of| i 
miud- Added to this at times is an inner ^ 
and mysterious vibration which makes 
itself felt by the listener from the very 
first words. Never a word that could 
shock or jar. From argument to argu- 
ment, from analogy to analogy, he .leads 
you on from the known to the unknown. 
Whether following up the comparative 



( 38 ) 

development of the earth and of man, 
according to occult tradition, through 
the Lemurian, Atlantean, Asiatic, and 
European periods ; whether explaining 
the physiological and psychic constitution 
of man as he now is ; whether enumerat- 
ing the stages of Eosicrucian initiation, or 
commenting on the Gospel of St. John 
and the Apocalypse, or applying his root- 
ideas to mythology, history, and literature, 
that which dominates and guides his 
discourse is ever this power of synthesis, ’ 
(which co-ordinates facts under one ruling 
ide a and ga thers them together i n on e 
liarmpnmus vision. (And it is ever this 
inward and contagious fervour, this secret 
music of the soul, which is, as it were, 
a subtle melody in harmon y wi th , the 
XJniversal Sou l. * 

Such, at least, is what I felt on first 
meeting him and listening to him two 
years ago. I could not better describe 
this undefinable feeling than by recalling 


% 



( 39 ) 

the saying of a poet-friend to whom I was 
showing the portoait of the German 
theosophist. Standing before those deep 
and clear-seeing eyes, before that counte- 4 
nance, hollowed „by inward struggles, ' ^ 
moulded by a lofty spirit which has 
proved its balance on the heights and its 
c^m in the depths, my friend exclaimed : 

“ Behold a master of himself and of life ! ” 


THE WAY OF INITIATION 

it 

I 

t;he supeephysical woeld 

AND ITS GNOSIS^ 

It is natural that most people, who hear 
of transcendental truths in our time, 
should at once put the question : “ How 
may we attain to such knowledge for our- 
selves ? ” Indeed, it is often remarked as 
a characteristic of people to-day, that t hey 

^ Translated from Lucifer- Gnosis (May to Dec. 1904), 
a theosophical magazine, published by M. Altmann, 
J^eipzig, and edited by Dr. Rudolf Steiner (17 Motz- 
strasse, Berlin, W.). This translation appeared first 
in the Thmmplmt (October 1907 -June 1908), a 
magazine of Brotherhood, of Comparative Religion, 
Philosophy and Science, and of Occultism. Edited by 
Annie Besaut, President of the Theosophioal Society, 
Adyar, Madras. 


n 




( 42 ) 

will accepl .,n.otM]ig on faith, oiL,miere 
“ authority /’ but wish rather to rely en- 
tirely upon their own judgment. And 
therefore it is that when mystics and 
theosophists profess t<> know something 
of the superphysical nature of man, and 
of the destiny of the human soul and 
spirit before birth and after death, tljpy 
are at once confronted with this funda- 
mental demand of our day. Such dogmas, 
fhey seem to say, have only an importance 
for anyone when you have shown him the 
Way by which he may convince himself of 
Itheir truth. 

i This demand is quite justified ; and 
never could any true mystic or theosophist 
fail to recognise it. But it is equally cer- 
tain that with many who make it, there 
exists a feeling of scep ticism or an tagonism 
t;pward the assertions- o^f t^^ This 

feeling becomes especially marked when 
the mystic sets out by intimating how the 
truths which he has described may be 




J ( *3 ) 

■'I attained. For then people often say to 

■i him; Wbatisjnmmay be d em o nst rated ,• 

^ ym Jtsgert.” 

Furthermore, they imply that the truth 
'• must be somethiilg clear and simple, 

something which a “modest” intellect 
' may comprehend; surely, they seem to 

' it cannot be the possession of a 

; chosen few, to whom it is given by a 

special revelation ’ ! And in thi s way 
^ . “em^er px transcewto 

' fr&QJiSJitly confronted with people jvho 

* because — ^unlike the scientist, 

for example — ^he can produce no proofs 
, for his assertions, of such a nature as they 

I can themselves understand. Again, there ^ 

are some who more cautiously reject these 
matters, but who, nevertheless, refuse 
any close connection with them because, 
they think, they do not seem reasonable. 
Thereupon they soothe themselves, though 
not entirely, by saying that we cannot 
know anything of what lies beyond birth 


0 


( 44 ) 

or death, of what we cannot perceive with 
our senses. 

Thesg.9,re but a few of the con ceptions 
and criticisms with which to-day the 
mesggnggr of a spiritual philosophy has to 
dea l. But they are similar to all those 
that compose the key-note of our time. 

I of a spirituaLmovernje aLJimiat^Jceci^ 

I f^a-kei:£ot§.aBit&^cafiarly. 

For his own part, the mystic is aware 
that his knowledge rests upon superphysi- 
cal facts ; just as facts, for example, form 
the foundation of the experiences and 
observations described by a traveller in 
Aftica. To the mystic applies what Annie 
B^nt has said in her manual, “ Death 
— and After?” 

I “ ^ ®^plorer would care but 

|j little for the criticisms passed on his report by- 
persons who had never been thither ; he might 
tell what he saw, describe the animals whose 
habits he had studied, sketch the country he 


r« 



( 45 ) 

had traversed, H\im up its products and its 
characteristics. If he was contradicted, laughed 
at, set right, by untravellod critics, he would 
be neither ruffled nor distressed, but would 
merely leave them idone. Ignorance cannot 
convince knowledge liy repeated asseveration of 
its nescience. The opinion of a hundred persons 
on a subject of which they are wholly ignorant 
is of no more weight than the opinion of one 
such person. Evidence is strengthened by many 
consenting witnesses, testifying each to his 
knowledge of a fact, but nothing multiplied a 
thousand times remains nothing.” 

Here is expressed the mystic’s view of 
himself. He hears the objections which 
are raised on every side, yet he knows 
that he has no need to dispute them. He ^ 
realises that his certain knowledge is* 
being criticised by those who have not 
experienced or felt as he himself has done. 
He is in the position of a mathematician 
who has discovered a truth which loses 
• no value though a thousand voices are 
raised in opposition. 

Here at once will arise the objection of 



{ 46 ) 

the sceptic ; “ Mathematical truths may 
be proved to anyone,” he will say, “ and 
though perhaps you have really found 
something, I shall only accept it when 
I have learnt of its'^ truth by my own 
observation.” Then he considers him- 
self to be in the right, because, as he 
thinks, it is clear that anyone who acquires 
] the necessary knowledge can prove a 
I mathematical truth, while the experiences 
j professed by the mystic depend upon the 
I special faculties of a few elect people, 
^ whom he is expected to believe bliudly. 

But for him who rightly considers this 
objection, any justification for the doubt 
immediately vanishes. For every true 
mystic will here speak just like the very 
sceptics themselves. He will always 
: emphasise the truth that the way to the 
Higher Knowledge is open for anyone 
i who tas acquired for himself the faculties 
fby which he may win entrance. The 
I mystic asserts nothing which his oppo- 



neiits would not also he compelled to assert, 
if they did but fully understand what they 
are saying. They, however, in making an 
assertion, at once fa’mulate a claim which 
constitutes a direct; contradiction of their 
own assertion. 

Sceptics are not content to test the 
assertions of the mystic only when they 
have acquired the necessary faculties, but 
rather judge him according to their present 
faculties, and not with those which he is 
bound to demand. He says to them ; “ I 
do not claim to be ‘ chosen ’ in the sense 
that you mean. I have merely worked 
within myself, in order to acquire these 
powers through which it is possible to 
speak of glimpses into superphysical 
regions. But these faculties are dormant 
within everyone, only they must be de- 
veloped.” But his opponents then answer ; 
“ You must prove your truths to us as we 
are now.” ^hey will not meet his demand 
that they should develop, first, the dor- 


( « ) 

mant powers within them, but rather, 
without being willing to do so, insist that 
he shall give them proofs. Nor do they 
see that this is exactW as if a peasant at 
his plough should demand of the mathe- 
matician the proof of a complicated 
problem without first imdergoing the 
trouble of learning mathematics. • 

All this appears to be so simple that 
one almost hesitates to speak of it. And 
yet it indicates a delusion under which 
millions of people^t the present time are 
living.”" If one explains it to them they 
always agree with it in theory, since it is 
quite as obvious as that two and two 
make foTir. Yet in practice they continu- 
ally contradict it. One can very soon 
convince oneself of that. The mistake has 
become second nature with many : they 
practise it without any longer realising 
that they do so, without desiring to be 
convinced of it, just as they offend against 
everything which they would at all times 


( ) 

allow to pass for a principle of the simplest 
nature, could they only consider it quietly. 

It matters not whether the mystic of to- 
day moves in a circfe of tliinking artisans, 
or in a more educated circle, for wherever 
he goes he meets with the same prejudice, 
the same self-contradiction. One finds it ) 
in popular lectures, in all the newspapers I 
and magazines, and even in more learned 
works or treatises. 

And here we must recognise quite 
clearly that we are dealing with a sign of 
the time which we cannot simply consider 
as mere incompetency, nor expose as criti- 
cism, correct perhaps, but nevertheless 
not just. We must understand that this \ 
symptom, this prejudice against tlm higher 
truths, lies deep in the very being of our' 
age. We must understand clearly that' 
the great successes, the immense advance, 

• which distinguish it, necessarily tend to- 
ward this mistake. The nineteenth century" • 
especially had in this respect a dark side ; 


( 50 ) 

, to its wonderful excellences. Its greatness 
irests upon its discoveries in the external 
World, and its conquest of natural forces 
tor technical and industrial purposes. 
These successes could, only have been 
attained by the observation of the senses, 
and afterwards by the employment of the 
mind upon what the senses had thus per- 
ceived. The civilisation of the present 
day is the result, of the training of our 
senses, and of that part of our mind which 

is occupied with ...the world pf sense. 

* Almost every step we take in the street 
to-day, shows us how much we owe to 
this kind of training. And it is under the 
influence of these blessings of civilisation 
that the habits of thought prevalent among 
our fellow-men of to-day have been de- 
veloped. They continue to abide by tlib 
i senses and the mind, because it is by 
fmeans of these that they have grown - 
! great. People were taught to train them- 
I selves to admit nothing as true except 


those things that were presented to them 
by the senses or the mind. And nothing is 
more apt to claim Jgor itself the only valid 
testimony, the on% absolute authority, 
than the mind or the senses. If a man 
has acquired by means of them a certain 
degree of culture, he thenceforth accustoms; 
himself to submit everything to their con-' 
sideration, everything to their criticism. 
And again in another sphere, in the | 
domain of Social Life, we find a similar | 
trait. The man of the nineteenth century | 
insisted, in the fullest sense of the word, 
upon the absolute freedom, of peraoimlity, 
and repudiated any authority in the Social 
Commonwealth. He endeavoured to con- 
struct the community in such a way that 
the full independence, the self-chosen 
vocation of each individual, should, with-- 
out interference, be assured. In this way 
it became habitual for him to consider 
everything from the standpoint of the 
average inciividual. The higher powers 


( 62 ) 

which lie dormant in the soul may be 
developed by one person in this direction, 
by another in that. One will make more 
progress, another less. I When they develop 
such powers, or when they attach any 
value to them, men begin to differentiate 
themselves. One must also, if one admits 
their existence, allow to the man who has 
progressed further, more right to speak 
on a subject, or to act in a certain way, 
than to another who is less advanced. 

But with regard to the senses and the 
mind, one may employ an average stand- 
ard. All have there the same rights, 
the same liberty. 

It is also noticeable that the present 
: formation of the Social C om mo nwealt h 
i has helped to bring; about a revolt against 
I the higher powers of man. According to 
the mystic, civihsation during the nine- 
iteenth century has altogether moved along • 
■physical Unes; and people have accus- 
tomed themselves to move on the physical 


( 63 ) 

plane alone, and to feel at home there. 

The higher powers are only developed on ! 
planes other than Ahe physical, and the j 
knowledge which tFese faculties bring has,.!! 
therefore, become alien to man. It is only* 
necessary to attend mass-meetings, if one 
wishes to be convinced of the fact that the 
speakers there are totally unable to think 
any thoughts but those which refer to the 
physical plane, the world of sense. This 
can also be seen among the leading 
journalists of our papers and magazines ; 
and, indeed, on all sides one can observe 
the haughtiest and most complete denial 
of everything that cannot be seen with the 
eyes, or felt with the hands, or compre- 
hended by the average mind. Once more; v « 
let it be said that we do not condemn this.] 
attitude. It denotes a necessary stage inf 0 
the development of humanity. Without-!' 
the pride and prejudices of mind and 
sense, we should never have achieved our 
great conquests over material life, nor 


( 54 ) 

have been able to impart to the person- 
ality a certain measure of elasticity : 
neither could we hopfe that many ideals, 
which must be foundld on man’s desire 
for freedom and the assertion of pei’son- 
ality, might yet be realised. 

But this dark side of a purely material- 
istic civilisation has deeply affected the 
whole being of the niodern man. For 
proof it is not necessary to refer to the 
obvious facts already named ; it would be 
easy to demonstrate by certain examples 
which are lightly underrated, especially 
to-day, how deeply rooted in the mind of 
the modern man is this adhesion to the 
testimony of the senses, or the average 
intelligence. And it is just these things 
that indicate the need for t he renewal of 
^pictoUife. ~ “ 

The strong response evoked by Pro- 
fessor Friedrich Delitzsch’s Bahel and Bible " 

Theory fully justifies a reference to its 
author’s method of thinking, as a sign of 





( 55 ) 

the time. Professor Delitzsch has demon- 
strated the relationship of certain tradi- 
tions in the Old Teltament to the Baby| , 
Ionian accounts of ‘ihe Creation, and thil 

"I 

fact, coming from such a source and in 
such a form, has been realised by many 
who would otherwise have ignored such 
qu^istions. I^has led many to reconsider 
the so-called idea of Revelation. They 
ask themselves : How is it possible ■ to/ 
accept the idea that the contents of the; 
Old Testament were revealed by God,‘ 
when we find very similar conceptions; 
among decidedly heathen nations ? This \ 
problem cannot here be further discussed. ' 
Delitzsch found many opponents who 
feared lest, through his exposition, the 
very foundations of Religion had been 
’shaken. He has defended himself in a 
pamphlet, Bade^ and Bible, a Itetro§pect 
and a Here we shall only refer 

to a single sentence in the pamphlet. It 
is an important sentence, because it 




reveals the view of an eminent m an of 
scierme regarding the position of man with 
respect to transcendfental truths. And 
to-day innumerable Ither people think 
a M feel .just l ik e Delitzsch. The sentence 
affords an excellent opportunity for us 
to find out what is the innermost convic- 
tion of our contemporaries, expressed h^re 
quite fireely and therefore in its truest 
form. 

Delitzsch turns to those who reproach 
him with a somewhat hberal use of the 
term “ Eevelation,” who would fain 
regard it as “ a. kind of old pries tly 
\nsdom ” which “ has nothing at all to do 
with the layman.” In opposition to this 
he says : 

“ For my part, I am of opinion that while our^ 
children or ourselves are instructed in school or 
at church as regards Eevelation, not only are 
we within our right, but it is our duty, to think 
independently concerning these deep questions, 
possessing als6^“ they do," an eminently pr^- 
were it only that we might avoid 


giving our children ‘evasive’ answers. For 
this very reason it will be gratifying to many 
searchers after Truthiwhen the dogma of a 
special ‘choosing’ of *Israel shall have been 
brought forward into the light of a wider his- 
torical outlook, through the union of Babylonian, 
Assyrian, and Old Testament research. ... [A 
few pages earlier we are shown the direction of 
such thoughts.] For the rest, it would seem to 
me* that the only logical thing is for Church|| 
and School to be satisfied as regards the wholell 
past In, story of the world and of humanity J 
with the belief in One Almighty Creator ofj 
Heaven and Earth, and that these tales of^ 
the Old Testament should be classified by them- 
selves under some such title as ‘Old Hebraic 
Myths.’” 


(It may be taken as a matter of course, 
we suppose, that no one will see in 
the following remarks an attack on the 
investigator Delitzsch.) What, then, is 
here said in naive simplicity? Nothing 


less than that the mind which is engaged! 
upo n phvsicalj nve s^atio n may as sert Jhe| 
of judging "‘exp eriences o£ j^iper-| 
physical nature. There is no thought 


( 58 ) 


that this mind, without further prepar- 
ing itself, may perhaps be unfit to reflect 
upon the teachings of these “ Revelations. ” 

' When one wishes t^ understand what 
: iappears as a “ Revelation,” one cannot do 
; iso unless one brings to bear upon it those 
Iforces out of which the “Revelation” 
itself has come. , 

H e^_ who develops within himself the 
m ystical powe r of perceptio n soon observes 
that in certain stories of the Old Testa- 
ment which were called by Delitzsch “ Old 
Hebraic Myths,” there are revea led to him 
truths of ajhkto.jaatore tbanjhose which 
may be comprehended by the intellect, 
which is only concerne d with the things 
of sense. His own mystical experiences 
win lead him to see that these “ Myths ” 
have proceeded out of a mystical percep- 
tion of transcendental truth s. And then, 
in one moment, his whole point of view is 
changed. 

As little as one can demonstrate the 





( S9 ) 


fallacy of a mathematical problem by 
discovering who solved it first, or even 
that several people fave solved it — which 
would certainly be ^a valuable historical 
discovery — j ust so litt le can one i mpug n 
the truth^ (^,^a jDiblicgd^ by the 

discovery of_a,_ similar story e lsewh ere, 
insjtead of demanding that everyone 
should insist upon his right, or even his 
duty, to think independently on the so- 
called “ Eevelations,” we ought rather to 


consider that only b e has a. right to decide 
anything about , the , matter who has 


deygloped in himsetf those latent powers 
which make it possible for him to r,e-live 
what was once realised by those very 
mystics who proclaimed the “ supersen- 
suous revelations.” 

* Here we have an excellent example of 
how the average intellect, qualified for 
the highest triumphs in practical sense- 
knowledge, sets itself up, in naive pride, as 
a judge in domains, the existence of which 




( 60 ) 

it does not even care to learn. For purely 
historical investigation is also carried on by 
nothing but the expekence of the senses. 

In just the same way has the investi- 
gation of the New Testament led us into a 
blind alley. St all costs"^e method of the 
“Newer Historical Investigation ” had to 
be directed upon the Gospels. These docu- 
ments have been compared with each other, 
and brought into relation with aU sorts of 
things, in order that we might find out what 
really happened in Palestine from the year 
1 to the year 33 ; how the “ historical 
personality ” of whom they tell really lived, 

. and what He can really have said. 

Now a man of the seventeenth century, 
A nptelus Silesius . has already expressed 
the whole of the critical attitude toward 
this kind of investigation ; 

“ Though Christ were yearly bom in Bethlehem, 
and never 

Had hirth in you yourself, then were you lost 
for ever ; 





/:■ 

( 61 ) " ^ 

And if within yourself it is not reared again. 

The C^Qg s^l^ QQlgoth a can save jon not from 

2 ^-” f 

Nor are these the words of one who 
doubted, but of a Christian, strong in his 
belief. And his equally fervent pre- 
decessor, said in the 

thirteenth century : 

“ There are some who desire to see God with 
their eyes, as they look at a cow ; and just as 
they love a cow, so they desire to love God. . . . 
Simple-minded people imagine that God may be 
seen as if He stood there and they stood here. 
But this is not so : in that perception, God and 
I are one.” 

These words must emphatically not 
be directed against the investigation of 
“ historical truth.” Yet no one can rig fitly \ 
understand the historic truth of such docu- a 
meuts as the Gospels, unless he has first \ 
experienced within himself the mystical \\ 
meaning which they contain. All such 
comparisons and analyses are quite worth- 
less, for no one can discover who was 



# 



( 62 ) 

“born in Bethlehem” but he who has 
mystically experienc|d the Christ within 
himself ; neither can\ anyone in whom it 
has not already been erected, decide how 
it is that “ the Cross at Golgotha ” can 
I deliver us from pain. Purely historical 
investigation “ can discover no more 
concerning the mystic reality than ,the 
dismembering anatomist, perhaps, can 
discover the secret of a great poetical 
genius.” (See my book. Das Christentum 
cds mystische Tatsache, Berlin, C. A. 
Schwetschke und Sohn, 1902, or its 
French translation, mentioned on page 1.) 

He who can see clearly in these matters 
is aware how deeply rooted, at the present 
time, is the “pride” of the intellect, 
which only wia^rnTTCi^f with the facts 
o f sense . It says : “ I do not wish to 
develop faculties in order that I may 
reach the higher truths ; I wish to form 
• my decisions concerning them with the 
^ powers that I now possess.” 


« 




( 63 ) 

In a well-meant pamphlet, which is 
written, however, entirely in that spirit 
of the age which we have already indi- 
cated [What do we hiow about Jesus'? 
by A. Kalthoff, Berlin, 1904), we read as 
follows : 

“ Christ, who symbolises the life of the Com- 
mu^jity, may he discerned within himself by the 
man of to-day; out of his own soul the man 
of to-day can create Christ just as well as the 
author of a gospel created him; as a man he 
may put himself in the same position as the 
gospel-writers, because he can reinstate himself 
into the same soul-processes, can himself speak 
or write Gospel.” 

These words may be true, but they may 
also be entirely erroneous. They are true 
when understood in the sense of Angelus 
Silesius, or of Meister Eckhart, when they 
^tre referred to the development of powers 
dormant in every human soul, which, from 
some such idea, endeavotms to experience 
within itself the Christ of the Gospels. 
They are altogether wrong, if a more or 


# 


( 6 + ) 





less shallow ideal of the Christ is thus 
created out of the ipirit of an age that 
acknowledges the trmth of no perceptions 
but those of the senses. 

The life of the Spirit can only be under- 
stood when we do not wish to criticise it 
with the lower mind, but rather to develop 
ourselves for it internally. No one .can 
hope to learn anything of the highest 
truths accessible to man, if he demands 
that they shall be lowered to the “ average 
understanding.” To this it might b e ob- 
mcted ; Why, then, do you, mystics and 
theosophists, proclaim these truths to 
people who, as you declare, cannot as yet 
understand them ? Why should there be 
a Theosophical Movement which proclaims 
certain teachings, when the powers which 
bring men to the preception of thefh 
ought first to be developed? 

It is the task of this book to solve this • 
apparent contradiction. It will show that 


the spiritual currents of our day speak 


% 



( 66 ) 

from a different basis, in a different 
manner, from the |cience which relies 
entirely on the low-er intellect. Yet, in 
spite of this, the spiritual currents are not 
less scientific than the science which is 
based upon physical facts alone. Rather 
do they extend the field of scientific in- 
vestigation into the superpKysical. We 
must close this chapter with one more 
question, which will perhaps be asked : 
How can one attain to superphysical 
truths, and, towards this attainment, of 
what help are spiritual movements ? 


6 


m 


\ 

II 

HOW TO ATTAIN KNOWLEDGE 
OF THE HIGHEE WOELDS 

In every man there are latent faculties 
by means of which he can acquire for 
himself knowieHge of the higher worlds. 
The mystic, theosophist, or gnostic speaks 
of a soul-world and a spirit-world, which 
are, for him, just as real as the world 
which we see with our physical eyes, or 
touch with our physical hands. At every 
moment his listener may say to himself : 
What he speaks about I too can learn, 
when I have developed within myself 
certain powers which to-day lie slumber- " 
ing within me. There remains only the 

question as to how one has to commence 
66 




{ 87 ) 

in order to develop {within oneself snch 
faculties. For this ^nly those can give 
advice who have already developed such 
powers within themselves. As long as 
the human race has existed, there have 
always been schools in which those who 
possessed these higher faculties gave 
instruction to those who were in search 
of them. Such are called the occult 
schools, and the instruction which is 
imparted therein is called esotei'ic science, 
or occult teaching. Such a designation 
naturally awakens misunderstanding. He 
who hears it may be very easily misled 
into the belief that those who work in 
these schools desire to represent a special, 
privileged class, which arbitrarily with- 
holds its knowledge from its fellow- 
creatures. Indeed, he may even think 
that perhaps there is nothing really impor- 
tant behind such knowledge. For he is 
tempted to think that, if it were a true 
knowledge, there would then be no need 


( 68 ) 

to make a secret ab(lut it : one might then 
communicate it pullicly and open up its 
advantages to all men. 

Those who have been initiated into the 
nature of the occult knowledge are not in 
the least surprised that the uninitiated 
should so think. Only he who has to a 
certain degree experienced this initiation 
into the higher secrets of being can under- 
stand the secret of that initiation. But 
it may be asked : How, then, shall the 
uninitiated, considering the circumstances, 
develop any interest at all in this so-called 
occult knowledge ? How and why ought 
they to search for something of whose 
nature they can form no idea ? But such 
a question is based upon an entirely 
erroneous conception of the real nature of 
occult knowledge. There is, in trutii, 
no difference between occult knowledge 
and all the rest of man’s knowledge and * 
capacity. This occult knowledge is no 
more of a secret for the average man than 


% 



( 69 ) 

writing is a secret toihim who has never 
learned to read. And just as everyone 
who chooses the correct method may 
learn to write, so too can everyone who 
searches after the right way become a 
disciple, and even a teacher. In only one 
respect are the conditions here different 
from, those that apply to external thought- 
activities. The possibility of acquiring 
the art of writing may be withheld from 
someone through poverty, or through the 
state of civilisation into which he has 
been born ; but for th e attain ment of 
knowledge in the higher worlds there is | 
no obstacle fo r him who, sincerely searches f 
for it. 

Many believe that one has to find, here 
or there, the Masters of the higher know- 
ledge, in order to receive enlightenment 
from them. In the first place, he who 
strives earnestly after the higher know- 
ledge need not be afraid of any diflBculty 
or obstacle in his search for an Initiate 



( TO ) 

who shall be able to lead him into the 
profounder secrets If the world. Every- 
! one, on the contrary, may be certain that 

an Initiate will find him out, under any 
circumstances, if there is in him an 
I earnest and worthy endeavour to attain 

j! I "tETs hnowiedge. For it is a strict law 

; / amongst all Initiates to withhold from 

? no man the knowledge that is due to 

him. But there is an equally strict 

i law which insists that no one shall re- 

I ceive any occult knowledge until he 

* is worthy. And the more strictly he 

.j observes these two laws, the more per- 

I feet is an Initiate. The order which 

i embraces all Initiates is surrounded, as it 

I 

1 were, by a waU, and the two laws here 

i mentioned form two strong principles by 

( which the constituents of this wall are 

I held together. You may live in close 

i fiaendship with an Initiate, yet this wall ' 

■; wfll separate him from you just as long as 

' you have not become an Initiate yourself. 

r- ‘ 



( 71 ) 

You may enjoy in t|ie fullest sense the 
heart, the love of an Initiate, yet he will 
only impart to you his secret when you 
yourself are ready for it. You may flatter 
him ; you may torture him ; nothing will 
induce him to divulge to you anything 
which he knows ought not to be disclosed, 
inasmuch as you, at the present stage of 
your evolution, do not understand how 
rightly to receive the secret into your 
soul. 

The ways which prepare a man for the 
reception of a secret are clearly prescribed. 
They arc indicated by the unfading, ever- 
lasting letters within thQ.iemples where 
the Initiates guard the higher secrets. In 
ancient times, anterior to “ history,” these \ 
temples were outwardly visible; to-day, 
because our lives have become so un - 1 
spiritual, they are mostly quite invisible | 

• to external sight. Ye^ ,they ,j^ .^r^ent | 
everywhere, and all who seek may find ^ 
them. 


Only within his soul may a man dis- 
cover the means whroh will open for him 
the lips of the Initiate. To a certain high 
degree he must develop within himself 
special faculties, and then the greatest 
treasures of the Spirit become his own. 

He must begin with a certain funda- 
mental attitude of the soul: the student 
of Occultism calls it the Path of Devotion, 
of Only he who maintains 

this attitude can, in Occultism, become a 
disciple. And he who has experience in 
these things is able to perceive even in 
the child the signs of approaching disciple- 
ship. There are children who look up 
with religious awe to those they venerate. 
For such people they have a respect which 
forbids them to admit even in the inner- 
most sanctuary of the heart any thoughf 
of criticism or opposition. Such children 
grow up into young men and maidens 
who feel happy when they are able to 
look up to anything venerable. From the 


( 73 ) 

ranks of such children are recruited many 
disciples. 

Have you ever paused outside the door 
of some venerated man, and have you, on 
this your fii’st visit, felt a religious awe as 
you pressed the handle, in order to enter 
the room which for you is a holy place ? 
Th^n there has been manifested in you an 
emotion which may be the germ of your 
future discipleship. It is a blessing for 
every developing person to have such 
emotions upon which to build. Only it 
must not be thoxight that such qualities 
are the germ of submissiveiiess and 
slavery. Experience teaches us that 
tliose can best hold their heads erect who 
have learnt to venerate where veneration 
is due. And veneration is always in its 
place when it rises from the depths of the 
heart. 

If we do not develop within ourselves 
this deeply-rooted feeling that there is 
something higher than ourselves, we shall * 




( 74 ) 

never find enough stjrength to evolve to 
something higher. The Initiate has only 
acquired the power of lifting his intellect 
to the heights of knowledge by guiding 
his heart into the depths of veneration and 
devotion. The heights of the Spirit can 
■ only be reached by passing through the 
\ portals of humility . You can only acquire 
right knowledge when you have learnt to 
esteem it. Man has certainly the right to 
gaze upon the Reality, but he must tii-st 
I acquire this right. Thpre are laws in the 
spiritual life, as in the physical life. Rub 
a glass rod with an appropriate material 
and it will become electric, that is to say, 
it will receive the power of attracting 
small bodies. This exemplifies natural 
I law. And if one has learnt even a little 
I of physics, one knows this. Similarly, if 
I one is acquainted with the first principles 
I of Occultism, one knows that every feel- 
i ing of true devotion which opens out in 
the soul, develops a power which may, 


9k 


( 75 ) 

sooner or later, lead«to the Path of Know- 
ledge. 

He who possesses within himself this 
feeling of d evo^ on. or who is fortunate 
enough to receive it from his education,, 
brings a great deal along with him, when, | 
later in life, he seeks an entrance to the' 
higher knowledge. But he who brings no 
such preparation will find himself con- 
fronted with difficulties even upon the| 
first step of the Path of Knowledge, un-f 
less he undertakes, by rigorous self-educa'^ 
tion, to create the devotional mood within 
himself. In our time it is especially im- 
portant that full attention be given to this 
point. Our civilisation tends much more 
towards criticism, the giving of judgments, 
and so forth, than toward devotion, and a 
selfless veneration. Ourj^il d ren already 
CTiticige .far more than they worsjup. But 
every judgment, every carping criticism, 
frustrates the powers of the soul for the 
attainment of the higher knowledge, in 


# 


( 76 ) 

the same measure tl|at all heartfelt de- 
votion develops them. In this we do not 
wish to say anything against our civilisa- 
tion. It is in no way a question of passing 
a criticism upon it. It is just to this 
critical faculty, this self-conscious human 
judgment, this “ prove all things and hold 
fast the good,” that we owe the greatness 
of our civilisation. We could never have 
attained to the science, the commerce, the 
industry, the law of our time, had we not 
^ exercised our critical faculty everywhere, 
had we not everywhere applied the stand- 
^ard of our judgment. But what we have 
|thereby gained in external culture we have 
shad to pay for with a corresponding loss 
I of the higher knowledge, of the spiritual 
*life. 

Now the one thing that everyone must '* 
clearly understand is that for him who 
is right in the centre of the objective 
Sivjjisatign. of our time, it is very difficult 
to advance to the knowledge of the higher 


« 



( 77 ) 

worlds. He can o>dy do so if he work 
energetically within himself. At a time 
when the conditions of outward life were 
simpler, spiritual exaltation was easier 
of attainment. That which ought to be 
venerated, that which ought to be kept 
holy, stood out in better relief from the 
ondinary things of the world. In a period 
of criticism these ideals are lowered ; other 
emotions take the place of veneration, 
respect, prayer, and wonder. Our own ^ 
age continually jm.shes these emotions ! 
further and further back, .so that in the 
daily life of the ptioplo they play but a 
very small part. He who seeks for higher 
knowledge nui.st (‘.reato it within himself; ^ 4 ) 
ho must himself instil it into his soul. It 
^cannot be done by study : iLBBuaaki>® 
done through life. He who wishes to 
become a disciple must therefore as- 
aidiunisly cultivate tlie devotional mood. 
Everywhere in hi.s environment he must 
look for that which demands of him ad- 


{ 78 ) 

miration and homage. Whenever his 
duties or circumstances permit, he should 
try to renounce entirely all criticism or 
j judgment. If I meet a man and^ bkme 
^ I Mm for his w^EnessT^I rob myself of 
I power to win the higher knowledge ; but 

I if I try to enter lovinsrlv into his merits, 

I I then gather^suclt power. The disciple 
must continually try to follow out this 
advice. Experienced occultists are aware 
how much they owe to the continual 
searching for the good in all things, and 
the withholding of all carping criticism. 
This must not remain only as an external 
rule of life ; rather must it take possession 
of the innermost part of our souls. We 

L have it in our power to perfect ourselves, 

and by and by to transform ourselves 
completely. But this transformation must 
take place in the innermost self, in the 
mental life. It is not enough that I show 
respec t only in my outward beariiig to- 
ward a person; I must h ave this respect 

« 










... .. •• >j : •' ■ *: 

> f', .'v/‘ 'V 




4 "' ,• > • '■'■■,•>4 Iv 

j. ?9 r ■' 


in my thought. The disciple must begin 
by drawing this devotion into his thought- 
life. He must altogether banish from his 
consciousness all thoughts of disrespect, [i 
of criticism, and he must endeavour,; 
straightway to cultivate thoughts of de-| 
votion. 

Every moment in which we set ourselves 
to banish from our consciousness whatever 


remains in it of disparaging, suspicious 
judgment of our fellow-men, every such 
moment brings us nearer to the knowledge' 
of higher things. And we rise rapidlyi 
when, in such moments, we fill our con-| 
sciousness only with thoughts that evoke! 
in us admiration, respect, and venerationi 


for men and things. He who has experi-j 
ence in these matters will know that in] 
every such moment powers are awakened 
in man which otherwise remain dormant.! 


In this way the spiritual eyes of a man 
are opened. He begins to see Stings 
around him which hitherto he was unable 


4 


( 80 ) 


to see. He begins to understand that 
hitherto he had only seen a part of the 
iWorld around him. The man with whom 
|he comes in contact now shows him quite 
I a different aspect from what he showed 
I before. Of course, he will not yet, through 
this rule of life alone, be able to see what 
has elsewhere been described as the huipan 
aura, because, for that, a still higher train- 
ing is necessary. But he can rise to 
this higher training if he has previously 
gone through a thorough training in 
devotion.* 

N oiseless and unnoticed by the outer 
w orld is the treading of the “ Fath of 
Discipleship.” It is not necessary that 
anyone should notice a change in the 
disciple. He does his duties as hitherto ; 


* In the last chapter of the hook entitled Theo~ 
Bcyphie (Berlin, C. A. Schwetschke und Sohn), Dr. 
Budolf Steiner fully describes this “Path of Know- 
ledge ” ; here it is only intended to give some practical 
details. 


( 81 ) 

he attends to his business as before. The 
transformation goes on only in the inner 
part of the soul, hidden from outward 
sight. At first the entire soul-life of a 
man is flooded by this fundamental mood 
of devotion for everything which is truly 
venerable. His entire soul-life finds in 
thia fundamental mood its pivot. Just as 
the sun, through its rays, will vivify every- 
thing living, saia..tbB life of the dispiple \ 
thia .rsyerence^^^^^ the perceptious | 

of the soul. 

At first it is not easy for people to 
believe that feelings like reverence, respect, 
and so forth, have anything to do with 
their perceptions. This comes from the 
fact that one is inclined to think of per- 
ception as a faculty quite by itself, one 
tliat stands in no relation to what other- 
wise happens in the soul. In so thinking, 
we do not remember that it is the soul 
which paroeixps. And feelings are for the ^ 

soul what food is for the body. If we^ 

6 


give the body stones in place of bread its 
activity will cease. It is the same with 
the soul. Veneration, homage, devotion, 
areas nutriment which makes it healthy 
and strong, and especially strong for the 
activity of perception. Disrespect, anti- 
pathy, and under-estimation, bring about 
the starvation and withering of J;his 
activity. For the occultist this fact is 
visible in the aura. A soul which 
harbours the feelings of devotion and 
reverence, brings about a change in its 
aura . Certain yellowish-red or browm-red 
'■ tints will vanish, and tints of bluish-re d 
will replace them. And then the organ 
^.J^srcfiption ojens. It receives infor- 
mation of facts in its neighbourhood of 
which hitherto it had no knowledge. 

. Eeverence awakens a sympathetic power 
} m__the,soul, and through this we attract 
similar c^u^ities in the beings which 
surround us, which would otherwise 
remain hidden. More effective still is 


that power which can be obtained by 
devotion when another feeling is added. 
One learns to give oneself up less and 
less to the impressions of the outer - 
world, and to develop in its place a vivid ; 
inward life. He who darts from one s 
impression of the outer world to another, 
who constantly seeks dissipations, cannot 
find the way to Occultism. The disciple 
must not blunt himself to the outer world ; 
but his rich inner life will point out the 
direction in which ho ought to lend him- 
self to its impressions. When passing 
through a beautiful mountain district, the 
man with depth of soul and richness of 
emotion has different experiences from 
the man with few emotions. Only what 
we experience w itl^^g. ourselves opens up 
the beauties of the outer world. One 
man sails across the ocean, and only a 
few inward experiences pass through his 
soul : but another will then hear the | 
eternal language of the WorH-^piritj^ jind • 


for him are unveiled the mysteries of 
creation. 

One must have learnt to control one’ s 
own feelings and ideas if one wishes to 
develop any intimate relationship -with 
; the outer world. Every phenomenon in 
5 that outer world is full of divine splendour, 
but one must have felt the Divine within 
i oneself before one can hope to discover it 
without. The disciple is told to set apart 
certain moments of his daily life during 
which to withdraw into himself, quietly 
and alone. But at suc h.^imjes he.„Ought 
npt to occupy himself.witl^his own__per 
Jonal ^affairs, for this would bring about 
the contrary of that which he is aiming 
at. During these moments he ought 
rather to listen in complete silence to the 
echoes of what he has experienced, o*f 
what the outward world has told him. 
Then, in thesq per iodg. of quiet,^ ever y 
joggr, evgry anim al, every a ctioiL^will 
nnvefl t o him secrets undrea med o f, and 


( 85 ) 

thus will he prepare himself to receive 
jne.® . impressions of the external world, as 
if he viewed it with different eyes. For 
he who merely desires to enjoy impression 
after impression, only stultifies the per- 
ceptive faculty, while he who lets the 
enjoyment afterwards reveal something to 
him, thus enlarges and educates it. Bu|j 
he must be careful not merely to let th|^ 
enjoyment reverberate, as it were ; butl 

J!??j2P3a§nt, rather 
to work upon his pleasurable experiences 
with an inward activity. The danger at 

Iittstead of work- 
ing within oneself, It is easy to fall into 
the opposite habit of afterwards trying 
to completely exhaust th,e enjoyment. Let 
^ us not undervalue the unfprgseeu sources 
of error which here confront the disciple. 
He must of necessity pass through a host 
of temptations, each of which tends only 
to harden his Ego and to imprison it 
within itself. He ought to open it wide 



( 86 ) 

for the whole world. It is necessary that 
he should seek enjoyment, for in this way 
only can the outward world get at him ; 
and if he blunts himself to enjoyment he 
becomes as a plant which cannot any 
longer draw nourishment from its environ- 
•ment. Yet, if he stops at the enjoyment, 
ihe is then shut up within himself, and 
iwill only be something to himself and 
"^nothing to the world. However much he 
may live within himself, however intensely 
he may cultivate his Ego, the world will 
I exclude him. He is dead to the world. 
But the disciple considers enjoyment only 
as a means of ennoblinghimself for the 
I world. Pleasure is to him as a scout who 
informs him concerning the world, and 
after having been taught by pleasure he 
passes on to work. He does not Ipa® in 
ordOT that he may accumulate l earpiug 
as his own treasure, but in order that Jhe 
r uay pu t his learning at the servic e of th e 
world . 



Tn all forms of Occultism there is a 
fundamental principle which cannot be 
transgressed, if any goal at all is to be 
reached. Every occult tea cher ^naust 
i mpress it upon his_jpT;ipils, and it runs 
as follows : Every branch of knowledge | 
which you seek only to enrich your own '^ 
learning, only to accumulate treasure for 
yourself leads you away from the Path: 
hut all knowledge which you seek for woi'k- \ 
ing in the service of humanity and for 
the uplifting of the world, brings you a 
step forward. This law must be rigidly 
observed ; nor is one a genuine disciple 
until he has adopted it as the guide for 
his whole life. In many occult school b 

tljiajbrrdh expressedjn the follow in| 

short sentenc e : Ever'y idea which does no 
become an ideal for you, slays a power it 
your soul : every idea which becomes a'l 
ideal creates within you living powers. 


Ill 

THE PATH OF DISCIPLESHIP 


At the very beg inni ng of his course the 

student is directed to the Pjtth of Rever- 

,jjjd the developinent of the inner 

Ijf&t. But the occult teaching also gives 

practical instructions by the observance 

of which he may learn to tread that Path 

and develop that inner life. These prac- 

ti cal dir ections have no arbitrary basis. 

They Test on ancient experience and 

a ncient wisdom , and wheresoever the ways 

to higher knowledge are marked out, they 

remain of the same nature. All genuine 

teachers of Occultism are in agreement as 

to the essential character of these rules, 

although they do not always express 
88 

% 



{ 89 ) 


them in the same words. This difference, 
which is of a minor character and is 
more apparent than real, is due to cir- 
cumstances which need not be touched 
on here. 

No teacher wishes by means of such 
rules to establish an ascendency oyer 
other persons. He would not tamper 
with individual independence. Indeed, 
no one respects and cherishes human indi- 
viduality more than the teachers of Oc- 
cultism. It was said (in the first part of 
this book) that the order which embraces 
all Initiates was surrounded by a wall, 
and that two laws formed the principles 
by which it was upheld. Whenever the^ 
Initiate leaves this enclosure and steps 
forth into the world, he must submit to a 
third inviolable Jaw. It is this: Keep 
watch over each of your actions and each 
of your words, in order that you may not I 
hinder the free-will of any human being. 
Those who recognise that genuine occult 


m 


A 


( 90 ) 

teachers are thoroughly permeated with 
this principle will understand that they 
I need sacrifice none of their independence 
I by the practical directions which they are 
' advised to follow. 

O ne of the fi rst of these jrules- m 
thus jexpressed in , ,pur language : “Pro- 
vide for yourself moments of inward cakn, 
and in these moments learn to distinguish 
between the real and the unreal." I say 
advisedly “ expressed in our language,” 
1 because originally all rules and teach- 
j ings of occult science were expressed in 
a symbolical sign-language. Those who 
* desire to master its whole scope and 
meaning must first obtain permission to 
learn this symbolical language, and before 
this permission can be obtained, it is 
necessary to have taken the first st^s in 
; oc cult k n owle dge. This may be achieved 
by the careful observe ce^ of suc h in iles as 
are here given. The Path stands open to 
all who eamestly will to enter it. 


•) 



{ 91 ) 

Simple, in truth, is the rule concerning 
moments of innerj^gim, and easy it is to 
follow ; but it only leads to the goal when 
the pursuit is as earnest and strict as^ 
the way is simple. I will, therefore, state 
without further preamble the method in 
which this rule should be observed 
mo student must mark off a smaU part 
of his daily life in which to occupy himself 3 

with something quite different from the 
avocations of his ordinary life, and the 
way in which he occupies himself at such 
a time must also differ from the way in 
which ho performs the rest of his duties. 

But this does not mean that what he does 
in the time thus set apart has no connec- 
tion with his daily work. On the contrary, i 
the man who seeks such moments in the 

I 

right way will soon find that it is just this I 
which gives him the full power to do his ^ 
daily task. Nor must it be supposed that ’ 
the observance of this rule really deprives 
anyone of time needed for the perform- 

% 



( 92 ) 

ance of his duties. If any person really 
^has no more time at his disposal, Jive 
I minutes a day will suffice. The real point 
t is the manner in which these five minutes 
I are spent. 

At these periods a man should raise 
himself completely above his worh-a-day 
life. His thoughts and feelings must take 
[ on a different colouring. Hig„Joys__and 
sorrows, his cares, experiences, and actiftns, 
mu|t pass in reyi^ before hi^,sapl. And 
he must cultivate a frame of mind which 
enables him to regard all his other experi- 
ences from a higher point of view. We 
* need only bear in mind how different is 
\ fHhe point of view from which in ordinary 
I life we regard the experiences and actions 
! of another, and that from which we judge 
our own. This is inevitable, for we are 
interwoven with our own actions and 
experiences, while we only contemplate 
those of another. Our aun in thes e 
momen ts of retirement must be to con - 

% 



templ ate and judge_ pur _own. expenienees | 
and a ctions ...a§. though it were not pur- \ 
selves Jbjit..§pme p^^^^^^ to whom | 

they applie d. Suppose, for example, that a 
certain misfortune has befallen someone. 
What a different attitude that person 
takes towards it as compared with an 
identical misfortune that has befallen his 
neighbour ! No one can blame this atti- J 
tude as unjustifiable ; it is a part of j 
human nature. And just as it is in ex- 
ceptional circumstances, so it is also in 
the daily affairs of life. The student mustj] 
endeavour to attain the power of regarding | 
himself at certain times as he would regard! 
a stranger. He m mt cont emplate himself 
with the inward calm of the critic. When 
t1ns~ls attained, our own experiences 
present themselves in a new light. As 
long as we are interwoven with them and 
are, as it were, inside them, we are as 
closely connected with the unreal as with 
the real. When we attain to a calm 



. survey, the real is separated froru the 
j unreal. Sorrow and joy, every thought, 
] every resolve, appear changed Avhen we 
I contemplate ourselves in this way. It is 
as though we had spent the whole day in 
a place where we saw the smallest objects 
at the same range of vision as the largest 
. ones, and in the evening climbed a neigh- 
bouring hill and surveyed the whole scene 
at once. Then the parts of the place take 
on proportions different from those they 
bore when seen from within. The value 
I of such calm inward contemplation de- 
I pends less on the actual thing we contem- 
i plate than on the power which such 
I inward calm develops in us. 

For in every human be ing there is, 
besides what we call the work-a-day 
fman, a higher bein g. This higher being* 
remains concealed until it is awakened. 
And each of us can only awaken it for 
himself. But as long as this higher being 
is not awakened, the higher faculties 


( 96 ) 


which lie dormant in every man and lead 
to supersensual knowledge, must remain 


hidden. This power which leads to 

■* & 


inward calm is a magic force that sets : 
free certain high er faculties. Until a seeker ,| 


feels this magic force within him, he must 


£ * 


continue to follow strictly and earnestly 
tht^ rule here given. To every man who 
thus perseveres, the day will come jyhen 
a spiritual light is revealed to him, and 
a whole new world, whose existence was 
hitherto unsuspected, is discerned by ary 
eye within him. 

There is no need for any pu.tward.ch£nige 
in the life of the student because he be- 
gins to follow this rule. He performs his 
duties as before, and at first he endures 
the same sorrows and experiences the 
same joys as of old. In no way does i|j 
estrange him from life, rather is he enii 
abled to devote himself to it the mon 
completely, because in the moments se 
apart he has a Higher Life of his own 


9 


( 96 ) 

^Gradually this Higher Life will make its 
mfluence felt on the ordinary life. The 
calm of the moments set apart wiU 
influence the ordinary existence as well. 
The whole man will grow calmer, will 
attain serenity in all his actions, and will 
clase to be perturbed by all manner of 
iiicidents. Gradually will a student who 
thus advances guide himself more and 
more, and be less directed by circum- 
stances and external influences. Such a 
man will soon discover how great a 
source of strength lies for him in these 
periods of contemplation. He will cease 
to be worried by things that formerly 
worried him ; and countless matters that 
used to inspire him with fear will cease 
to alarm him. He acquires a new out- 
look on hfe^ Formerly he may have" 
taken up this or that task with a sense 
of timidity. He would say : “ I lack the 
power to do this as well as I could wish.” 
Now he no longer admits such a thought 







( 97 ) 

but, instead of it, one quite different. He j 
now says to himself: “I will summon 
rfp all my strength so as to do my work - 
as well as I possibly can.” And hel 
suppresses the thought which encourages* 
timidity; for he knows that this very 
timidity might spoil his undertaking, and 
thal^at any rate it can contribute nothing 
to the improvement of his labour. And 
thus one thought after another, each 
fraught with advantage to his whole life, 
begins to penetrate the student’s outlook. 
They take the place of those that had 
a hampering and weakening effect. JS^j- 
begins to steer his own ship with a firm, | 
secufS course among the waves ,of, life, 1 
which formerly tossed it helplessly to andi ^ 
fro. 

And this calm and serenity react on* - 
the w;holeJbeing. They assist the growth' 
of the inner man, and of those inner| 
faculties which lead , JQ.. -thn,.. lii^^^ 
knowledge. For it is by his progress in|i 


this direction that the student gradua 
attains to a state in which he hims 
determines the manner in which 1 
impressions of the external world si 
affect him. Thus, he may hear a wo 
spoken with the object of wounding 
vexing him. Before he began his occ 
studies it would indeed have wounde<3 
vexed him. But now that he treads 
Path of Discipleship, he is able to ti 
from it the sting which gives it the po'' 
to hurt, before ever it enters his c 
sciousness. Take another examj>Ie ; 

I naturally grow'lmpafrsiit^tfli^^ we 
l^kept waiting, but the student is so j 
imeated in his moments of calm vi 
j.the realisation of the^usojessness of 
I patience, that this feeling is present v 
I him on every such occasion. The 
\ patience which would naturally overc< 

I him vanishes, and an interval which wc 
lotherwise have been wasted in the 
Ipression of impatience may be utill 



( 99 ) 

by making some profitable observation | 
during the period of waiting. 

Now we must realise the significance of 
these facts. We must remember that the 
“ Higher Being ” in a man is in constant 
development, and only the state of calm 
and serenity here described renders an 
orderly development possible. The waves | 
of outward life press in upon the inner man 
from all sides, if, instead of controlling f 
this outward life, he is controlled by it. i 
Such a man is like a plant which tries to * 
expand in a cleft in the rock, and is stunted ;i 
in its growth until new space is given it./ 
No outward forces can supply space for 
the inner man ; it can only be supplied by 
the inner calm which he may give to his 
soul. Outward circumstances can only 
alter the course of his outward life ; they 
can never awaken the spiritual inner man. 
T he student must himse lL-gi ve birth to I 
the new and hig hflr.mAn within, him. 

The higher man becomes the “inner 


( 100 ) 

Ruler,” who directs the circumstances of 
' the outer man with sure guidance. As 

I long as the latter has the upper hand, 

this inner man is enslaved, and therefore 
I cannot develop his powers. If another 

I V than myself has the power to make me 

1 I angry, I am not master of myself, or, to 

^ put it better, I have not yet found “•the 

I I Ruler within me.” I must develop tlie 

! 1 power within of letting the impressions of 

I the outer world approach me only in the 

I way in which I myself choose ; then only 

I Ido I really become an occult student. 

I And only by eaxngalJbLjtoiiig after this 

power can a student reach the goal. It 
I \ is not of so much importance to achieve a 
;j \ great deal in a given time, as to be earnest 
in the search. Many have striven for years 
without noticing any marked advance; 
but many of those who did not despair, 
and stjagglfaijiffl^ liaye jaame- 

tpea a«hiey,ed the.‘Uoner 

vjgjpry.”*”’*' 




I n many s ituations it req uires a good 

ijQvard But the greater the effort 

needed, the more important is the achieve- 
ment. In esoteric studies, everything\ 
depends on the energy, inward truth- > 
fulness, and uncompromising sincerity ‘ ■’ 
wikh which we contemplate ourselves and " 
our actions from the standpoint of com- ; 
plete strangers. 

Blit only one side of the student’s inner 
activity is characterised by this birth of 
his own higher being. Something else 
is needed in addition. Even if a man 
regards himself as a stranger, it is only 
himself that he contemplates; he looks 
at those experiences and actions with 
which he is connected through his par- 
ticular mode of life, and it is necessary 
for him to rise above this, and attain to 
a purely human point of view, no longer 
connected with his own individual circum- 
stances. He must pass on to the contem- 


( 102 ) 

plation of those things which concern him 
as a human being, even though he himself 
dwell in a different condition and different 
circumstances. In this way something is 
brought to birth within him which rises 
beyond the personal point of view. Thus 
his gaze is directed to higher worlds than 
those he knows in every-day life. And 
ithen he begins to feel and realise that 
|he belongs to these higher worlds about 
Iwhich his senses and his daily occupations 
lean tell him nothing. In this way he 
|shifts the central point of his being to 
t he inn er part Qf his nature. He listens 
to the voices within him which speak 
to him in his moments of calm ; and in- 
, wardly he,, cnltivates an intercourse with 
I the spiritual world. He is removed 

' ^ I 

‘ ifrom the every-day world, and no longer 

• hears its voices. All around him there 
ii s silenc e. He putiT’^wayTronTTiim all 
ihis external surroundings, and everything 
which even reminds him of such external 

■ , r 



( 103 ) 

impressions. His entire soul is filled with | 
calm inward contemplation and converse! 
with the purely spiritual world. This| 
calm contemplation must become a 
necessity to the student. He is plunge d 
completely in a world of ^oug hts. He 
must develop an earnest desire for such 
cahn thinking. He must learn to love 
the _jn-pouring of the spirit. He will 
soon cease to regard this thought-world 
as more unreal than the everyday things 
which surround him. He begins to. deal 
with his thoughts as with things existing. I 
in space. And then the moment is at 
hand when the revelations of his quiet 
thinking begin to seem much higher and 
more real than the things existing in; 
space. He discovers t^t this thought-^ 

" world is an expression of life. He i' 
realises that thoughts are not mere 
phantoms, but that through them beings ' • 
speak to him who were hidden before. | 
He Deginj ..to he^r voices speakA aJbim I 



( 104 ) 

through the silence. Formerly his ear 
was the only organ of hearing; now he 
can listen with his soul. An inner 
language and an inner voice are revealed 
to him. It is a moment of the supremest 
ecstasy to the student when this experi- 
lence first comes to him. An inner light 
floods the whole external world for l^m, 
and^he is “born anew.” Through his 
’being passes a current from a divine 
world, bringing with it divine bliss. 

This thought-life of the soul, which is 
Igradually widened into a life of spiritual 
ibeing, is designated by the Gnosis and by 
ilheosophy as meditation (contemplative 
|thought). This meditation is the means 

t y which super-sensual knowledge is 
ttained. But during such moments the 
student must not be content to give him- 
self up to the luxury of sensation. He 
must not permit undefined feelings to take 
possession of his soul. That would only 
hinder him from attaining true spiritual 


( 105 ) 

knowledge. His thoughts must be clearly] 
and sharply defined, and he wiU be helped* 
in this by not allowing ..himself to ,be„ 
carried away blindly by the thoughts that'; 
sjpring up within him. Rather must he| 
permeate his mind with the lofty thoughts 
which originated with advanced students 
to .whom inspiration has already come. 
Let him first of all study those writ- 
ings which themselves originated in such 
moments of meditation. 'I'he student will 
find such in the mystical, gnostic, and 
tbeosophical literature of our time, and / 
will there gain the material for his medi- ! 
tation. Wise men have themselves in- 
scribed in these books the thoughts of 
divine science, or have proclaimed them 
to the world through their agents. J 

Such meditation produces a complete 
transformation in the student. He begins 
to form entirely new conceptions of 
Reality. All things acquire fresh values = 
in his eyes. And it cannot be declared 



( 106 ) 

too often that this transformation does 
not estrange him from actuality, or re- 
move him from his daily round of duties. 
For he comes to realise that his most 
insignificant actions or experiences are in 
close connection with the great cosmic 
beings and events. When once this con- 
f nection is revealed to him in his mom^its 
of contemplation, he is endowed with 
fresher and fuller power for his daily 
I duties. For then he knows that his 
labour and his suffering are given and 
endured for the sake of a great spiritual 
cosmic whole. Thus, instead of weari- 
ness, his meditation gives him strength 
tpliye. 

With firm step the student pa.sso8 
through life. No matter what it may 
bring him, he goes forward erect. In the* 
past he knew not why he jvorked and 
suffered, but now he knows. It is obvious 
that such meditation is more likely to 
lead to the goal, if conducted under the 


( 107 ) 

direction, of experienced persons, who TJ ^ 
know actually bow everything may best 
be done. We should, therefore, seek 
the advice and direction of such experi- 
enced guides ((^ru s they are called in 
certain schools of thought). What would 
else be mere uncertain groping is trans- 
formed by such direction into work that 
is sure of its goal. Those who apply to 5 
the teachers possessed of such knowledge i 
and experience will never apply in vain.| 

Only they must be quite clear that it is 
the advice of a friend they desire, not the 
domination of a would-be ruler. Those 
who really know are always the most 
modest of men, and nothing is further 
from their nature than what is called the 
^passion for power. 

Those who, by means of meditation, 
rise to that which unites man with 
spirit, are bringing to life within them 
%e ’'“ch is limited by 

neittor birth nor death. Only those who 




( 108 ) 

have had no experience of it themselves 
can doubt the existence of this eternal 
element. Thus meditation becomes the 
way by which man also attains to the 
recognition and contemplation of his 
eternal, indestructible, essential being. 
And only through meditation can one 
attain to such a view of life. Gnosis and 
Theosophy tell of the eternal nature of 
this essential being, and of its reincarna- 
tion. The question is often asked : “ Why 
does a man know notlimg of those experi- 
ences which lie beyond the borders of 
birth and death?” Not thus should we 
ask, but rather : “ How may we attain to 
such knowledg e?” The entrance to the 
Path is opened by right meditation. This 
aione can revive the memory of events^ 
that lie beyond the borders of birth and 
death. Everyone can attain to this 
knowledge ; in each of us is the faculty 
of recognising and contemplating for our- 
selves the truths of Mysticism, Theosophy, 



( 109 ) 


and Gnosis ; but the right means must be 
chosen. Only a being with ears and eyes 
can perceive tones and colours, nor can the 
eye perceive, if the light by which things 
are visible be wanting. Occult science 
gives the means of developing the spiritual 
ears and eyes, and kindling the spiritual 
light. There are, according to esoteric 
teachers, three steps by which the goal 
may be attained : 1. Probation. This de- 
velops the spiritual senses. 2. Enlighten^ 
rmnt. This kindles the spiritual light. 
3. Initiation. This establishes intercourse; 
with the higher spiritual beings. 

The following teachings proceed from a 
secret tra dition , but precise information 
concerning its nature and its name cannot 
be given at present. They refer to the 
thr ee ste ps which, in the school of this 
tradition, lea^d to a, certain 4 
tion. But here we shall find only so much 
of this tradition as may be openly declared. 
These teachings are errttactgd frona a mr^ 





( 110 ) 

deeper and more secret do.ctrine. In the 
occult schools themselves a definite course 
of instruction is followed, and in addition 
to this there are certain practices which 
enable the souls of men to attain a con- 
scious intercourse with the spiritual world, 
, These practices bear about the same rela- 
I tion to what will be imparted in «the 
f ollowing page s, as the teaching which is 
given in a well-disciplined school bears 
jto the instruction that may be received 
occasionally during a walk. And yet the 
ardent and persevering pursuit of what is 
here hinted at will lead to the way by 
which one obtains access to a genuine 
I occult school. But, of course, ^_im- 
f patient perusal, devoid of sincerity „and 
i perseverance, can lead to nothing at all. 
He who believes himself to be ready for 
V r more must ap ply to an occult teacher. The 
' study of these things can only be success- 
ful if the student will observe what has 
already been written in previous chapters. 



( 111 ) 

The stages which the above-mentioned 
tradition specifies are the following three : 

I. Probation, 

II. Enlightenment, , 

III. Initiation. 

It is_ not altogether necessary that | 
these three stages should he so . taken | 
that one must have quite completed, the | 
first before beginning the second, nor this t 
in its turn before beginning the third. 
With respect to certain things one can / 
partake of Enlightenment, and even of | 
Initiation, while as regards others one ( 
is still in the probationary stage. Y.^t it I 
will be necessary to spend a certain times 
in this stage of Probation before any\ 
Enlightenment at all can begin, and at | 
least in some respects one must have been I 
'enlightened before it is even possible to i 
enter upon the stage of Initiation. But in 
giving an account of them it is necessary, 
for the sake of clearness, that the three 
stages follow one another. 


IV 

PEOBATION 

c 

Peobation consists of a strict cultivation 
of the emotional and mentlllife. Through 
this cuitivation the'‘'s^ body” be- 
comes equipped with new instruments of 
perception and new organs of activity, 
just as out of indeterminate living matter 
the natural forces have fitted the physical 
body with organs. 

The beginning is made by directing the 
of soul to certain events 
,.in the world that surrounds us. Such 
events are the germinating, expanding, 
and flourishing of life on the one hand’ 
M, on the other hand, all things which 
*re connected with fading, decaying, and 


( 118 ) 

dying out. Wherever we turn our eyes 
we can observe these things happening 
simultaneously, and everywhere they natu- 
rally evoke in men feelings and thpughts. 
But under ordinary circumstances a man 
fails to attend sufficiently to these thoughts 
and feelings. He hurries on too q^uickly 
from impression to impression. Wliat is 
necessary, therefore, is that he should fix * 
his attention intently and quite consciously ' 
upon these pheiioi»,ena. Wherever he 
observes expansion and flourishing of a 
certain kiad, he must banish everything 
else from his soul, and entirely surrender I 
himself for a short time to this_(^ne„ina- 1 
presSon. He will soon convince Himself ’ 
that a sensation which heretofore in a 
similar case would have merely flitted 
through his soul, is now so magnifieci that ’ 
it becomes of a powerful and energetic; 
nature. He must now allow this thought- 
form to reverberate quietly within himself, 
and to do so he mjjisL J hia c nm a . . 

8 




{ 114 ) 

quite still. He should draw himself away 
from the outward world, and only follow 
that which his soul tells him of this ex- 
pansion and flourishing. 

Yet it must not be thought that we can 
make much progress if we blunt our senses 
to the world. First, one must contemplate 
these objects as keenly and precisely^. as 
possible, and it is then that one should 
give oneself up to the sensations that 
result, and the thoughts that arise within 
I the soul. What is important is this : that 
one should direct the attention, with per- 
fect inner balance, upon both of these 
phenomena. If one obtains the necessary 
quiet and surrenders oneself to that which 
arises in the soul, one will then, in due 
time, obtain Jihe following experience s ; 
■One will notice a new kind of thoughts"^ 
I and feelings, unknown before, uprising 
I in the soul. Indeed, the more one fixes 
the attention in such a way alternately 
upon something growing, expanding, and 





( 116 ) 

flourishing, and upon something else that 
is fading and decaying, the xupre^ym 
will these feelings become. And just as 
natural forces evolve out of living matter 
the eyes and ears of the physical body,, 
so will the organs of clairvoyance evolve : 
themselves from the feelings which are/ 
thus evoked. A definite thought-form 
unites itself with the germinating and 
expanding object, and another, equally 
definite, with that which is fading and 
decaying. But this will only take place 
if the cultivation of these feelings be 
striven for in the way described. 

It is only possible to describe approxi- 
matelv wEa^ '" TEeie" feelings ar§ , .like. 
Indeed, everyone must attain his own 
. conception of them as he passes through 
these inward experiences. He who has 
frequently fixed his attention on the 
phenomena of germinating, expanding, and 
flourishing, will feel something remotely 
allied to the sensation of a sunrise ; and 



( 116 ) 

the phenomena of fading and decaying 
will produce in him an experience com- 
parable, in the same way, to the gradual 
uprising of the moon on the horizon. 

1 Both these feelings are forces which, 
when carefully cultivated, with a con- 
j tinually increasing improvement, will lead 
! to the greatest occult results. To Mm 
who again and again, systematically and 
with design, surrenders himself to such 
feelings, a_jft^ worW ^ m The 

spiritual” world, the so^c^led “astral 
' plane,” begins to dawn upon him. Bloom- 
' ing and fading are no longer facts whicli 
make indefinite impressions on him, as of 
old, but they rather form themselves into 
spiritual lines and figures of which he 
had pr^du% suspected nothing. And 
these lines and figures have for the 
different phenomena different forms. A 
blooming flower, an animal growing, a 
decaying tree, evoke in his soul definite 
lines. The astral plane slowly broadens 





( 117 ) 


out before him. Nor are these forms in 
any sense arbhrary. Two students who 
find themselves at the same s^ge of de-i 

vdopment w^^a^ 

and figures under the same™ conditions.^ 
Just as certainly as a round table will be 
seen as round by two normal persons, 
n«t as round by the one and square by 
the other ; so, too, before the perception 
of two souls a blooming flower will 
present the same spirhual form. And 


just as the shapes of animals and plants 
are described in ordinary natural history, 
so, too, the teacher in an occult school 
describes and delineates the spiritual 
forms of growing and decaying processes 
after their nature and species. 

If the student has progressed so far 


that he can see such aspects of phenomena 
which are also physically observable with 
his external eyes, he will not then be far j 
from the stage when he. shall .behold :■ 
things that have no physical , existence,; 


’ and must therefore remain entirely hidden 
j to those who have undergone no training 
j in the occult school. 

It should be emphasised that the 
i occult explorer ought never to lose him- 
J self in speculation on the meaning of this 
lor that. By such ^ intellectualising he 
only brings "himself away from the right 
road. He ought to look out on the sense- 
world freshly, with healthy senses and 
quickened observation, and then to give 
, himself up to his own sensations. He 
ought not to wish, in a speculating 
manner, to make out what this or that 
means, but rather to allow th e thing s 
|heip§.elvea,,.to inform .him.* 

A further point of importance is that 
which is called in occult science “ orienta- 
tion in the higher worlds.” This point is 

* It should be remarked that the artistic perception, 
when coupled with a quiet introspective nature, forma 
the best foundation for the development of occult 
faculties. It pierces through the superficial aspect of 
things, and in so doing touches their secrets. 



( 119 ) 

attained when one realises with complete 
consciousness that feelings and thoughts 
are veritable realities, just as much as 
are tables and chairs in the world of the 
physical senses. Feelings and thoughts 
act upon each other in the astral-world 
and in the thought (or mental) world just 
as (Objects of sense act upon each other 
in the physical world. As long as any- 
one is not truly permeated with this 
realisation he will not believe that an 
evil thought projected from his mind may 
have as devastating an effect upon other 
thought forms as that wrought upon 
physical objects by a bullet shot at 
random. Such a one will perhaps never 
allow himself to perform a physically 
visible action which he considers to be 
wrong, yet he will not shrink from har- 
bouring evil thoughts or feelings, for these 
do not appear to him to be dangerous 
to the rest of the world. Nevertheless 
we can only advance in occult science if 


we guard our thoughts and feelings in 
just the same way as such a man would 
guard the steps he takes in the physical 
world. If anyone sees a wall before him 
he does not attempt to dash right through 
it, but directs his course alongside. In 
other words, he guides himself by the 
laws of the physical world. * 

There are such laws also in the world 
of thought and feeling, but there they 
cannat"Tnip^e themselves upon us from 
without. They must flow out of the life 
I of the soul itself. One arrives at such 
I a condition when one forbids oneself, at 
I all times, to foster wrong tbWghts or 
; ‘feelings . AU arbitrary goings to-and-fro, 
all idle fancies, all accidental ups-and- 
downs of emotion must be forbidden in 
the same way. But, in so doing, let it’' 
' not be thought that one brings about a 
deficiency of emotion. On the contrary, if 
we regulate our interior life in this manner, 
we shall speedily find ourselves rich in 



( 121 ) , - 

feelings and in genuine creative imagina- 
tiop- place of a mere chaos of 

petty feelings and fantastic trains of 
thought, there appear significant emo- 
tions, and thoughts that are fruitful, and 
it is emotions and thoughts of this^ kind 
that lead a man to “ orientation in the 
He has entered into the 
right condition for the things of that 
world, and they entail for him definite 
consequences. Just as a physical man/ 
finds his way between physical things,/ 
so, too, his path now leads him straight] 
between the gro'wing and the fading\ 
which he has already come to know inj 
the way described above. For he follows! 
all processes of growing and flourishing, 
and, on the other liand, of withering and 
decaying — it is necess ary for his own and 
t^woiid’s.^mspLSjdty. 

The occult student has also to bestow a 
further care on tb.e world of sound - He 
must discriminate between the tones 



( 122 ) 

which are produced from the so-called 

( inert (lifeless) bodies (for example, a bell, 
a musical instrument, or a falling mass), 
and those which proceed from a living 
^creature (an animal or a person). He who 
hears the striking of a bell will receive the 
sound and attach to it a certain sensation, 
but he who hears the cry of an animal 
will, in addition to this sensation, become 
aware that the sound reveals also an 
inward experience of the animal, either of 
pain or of pleasure. The student is con- 
cerned with the latter aspect of the sound. 
\He must concentrate his whole attention 
upon it, so that the sound reveals to him 
something that lies outside of his own 
soul, and, more than this, must merge 
: himse lf in this exterior thing. He must 
^closely connect his own emotion with the 
Ipleiasure or pain communicated to him 
|byjgo,§ans of the sound. He must care 
f nothing whether for him the sound be 
pleasant or unpleasant, welcome or not, 



( 124 ) 

only heard sound from the resonance of 
so-called inanimate objects, hejiasK under- 
stands a new speech of the soul. Should 
he advance in this culture of tiie soul, he 
will soon learn that he can heai: what 
hitherto he did not even surmise. He 
begins to hear with the soul. 

One thing more must be added before 
we can reach the topmost point of this 
region. What is of very special import- 
ance in the development of the student 
is the way in which he hears the speech 
of othei;’ men. He must accustom himself 
to do this in such a way that while doing 
so his inner self is absolutely still. If 
someone expresses an opinion and another 
hears it, the inner self of the latter will 
be stirring in general assent or contra^; 
diction. Many people in such a case feel 
themselves urged to an expression of 
their assent, or, more especially, of their 
contradiction. All such assent or contra- 
|iiction must, in the occult student, be 



silen ced. It is not imperative that he 
sfiould therefore quite suddenly begin to 
make his life entirely different, in order 
that he may attain to this inward and 
fundamental calm. He might, therefore, 
begin by doing so in special cases, de- 
liberately selected by himself. Thus quite / 
slowly and by degrees will this new way ; 
of listening creep into his habits, as of 1 
itself. In the occult schools these things | 
are systematically practised. Por the sake 
of practice the student is obliged to listen 
for a certain period to the most contra- 
dictory thoughts, and at the same time 
to suppress all assent, and more especially 
all adverse criticism. The point is that in 
such a way not only all intellectual judg- j 
jnent is silenced, but also all sense of ; 
displeasure, denial, or even acceptance. ! 
And the student must be particularly* 
watchful that such feelings, even if they 
are not upon the surface, do not still 
remain in the innermost recesses of the 


( 126 ) 

soul. He must listen, for example, to the 
statements of people who in some respects 
are far beneath him, and yet, while so 
doing, suppress every feeling of greater 
knowledge or of superiority. It is useful 
for everyone to listen in this way jto 
children, for e ven t he wisest .ngay . leitru 
. very, very much from c hildren . So *4oes 
’ it come about that we hear the w:'ords 
of others impersonally, completely divested 
of our own personality with its opinions 
and feelings. He who thus makes a 
practice of listening uncritically, even 
when a completely contradictory opmion 
is advanced, learns again and again to 
blend himself, to become identified, with 
the being of another. He then hears, as 
it were, through the words and into the.~ 
souls of others. Through continual exer- 
cise of this kind only, sound becomes the 
right medium for the revelation of the 
spirit and the soul. Of course, it implies 
the str ictest self-discipl ine, but it leads 





( 12 ? ) 

to a high goal. When these practices are 
undertaken in connection with those that 
deal with the sounds of Nature, the_ spul 
develops a new sense of hearing. It is 
now able to receive demonstrations from 
the spiritual world which do not find 
their expression in outward sounds ap- 
prehensible by the physical ear. The 
pexceptipn. af.ldie ‘‘iiuier,w^^^^ 

Gradually truths firom the spiritual world 
reveal themselves to the student, and he i 
hears them expressed in a spiritual way.* » 

All high truths are attained through 
such “ inner encouragement,” and what 
we may hear from the lips of a genuine 
occult teacher has been experienced in 

* Only to Mm wlio by listening disinterest^ly 
becomes able to jgeroeive really from witbin, silently, 
without emotion arising from personal opinion or 
personal taste, — only to sack can speak the Great Bonis 
who are known in Occultism as the Masters. As long 
as our opinions and feelings are in a state of vehement 
opposition to the communications from the Masters, 
They remain silent. 


this manner. And in so saying it must 
not be supposed that it is unimportant 
to acquaint oneself with the writings on 
occult science, before one can actually 
»^ain this inner encouragement. On the 
jcontrary, the reading of such writings, 
]and the listening to eminent teachers of 
|Occult lore, are themselves the meanS of 
lattaining a personal knowledge. Every 
sentence of the esoteric wisdom which 
one hears is adapted to direct the senses 
to that point which must be attained 
before the soul can experience a real 
advance. To the practice of all which has 
here been indicated, must be added an 
arden t study of what the occult teacher 
^yes out to all the world. In all occult 
schools such a study belongs to the prov 
bationary period, and he who would employ 
all other methods wiE^tt^n no goal 
omits the instructipj^^^ 
for inasmuch as these instructions proceed 
from an actual “inner word,” an actual 



( 129 ) 

“encouragement,” they possess in them- 
selves a spiritual vitality. They are not 
mere words ; they are living powers ; and 
while you follow the words of an occultist, 
while you read a book which comes from 
a genuine inner experience, powers are 
at work in your soul which make you 
clairvoyant, just as natural forces have 
created out of living matter your eyes 
and ears. 


9 


V 

ENLIGHTENMENT 

0 

Enlightenment is the result of very 
simple processes. Here, too^ it^is a matter 
|of developing certain feelmgs and thoughts 
pOcETare dormant within aU men, but 
inust be awakened. Only he who carries 
out these simple processes with complete 
patience, continuously and strenuously, can 
be led by them to the reception of inner 
illumination. The prima ry step is taken 
by observing different natural objects 
in a particular way; and these are as 
; follows : a transparent stone of beautiful 
form ( a crys tal), a plant, and an animal. 
One should endeavour at first to direct 
one’s whole attention to a comparison of 

130 



( 131 ) 

the stone with the anmal, in the following 
way : The thoughts which, accompanied 
by strong emotions, are thus induced, 
must pass through the soul, and no other 
emotions or thoughts must be mixed with 
them, or disturb the intense contempla- 
tion. One says to oneself : “The 
stohe has a form and the animal has also 
a form. The stone remains motionless 
in its place, but the animal changes his. 
It is impulse (desire) which causes the 
animal to change its place, and it is these 
impulses which are served by the form of 
the animal. Its organs and instruments 
are the expression of these impulses. The 
form of the stone, on the contrary, is 
fashioned, not in accordance with im- 
•pulses, but in accordance wi th an im- 
pulseless force.” ^ 

^ The fact here mentioned, in its bearing on the 
contemplation of crystals, is in many ways distorted by 
those who have only heard of it in an outward (exoteric) 
manner, and in this way such practices a»^^tal-|a2j|ig 
have their origin. Misrepresentations a kind 


If one sinks deeply into siicli thoughts, 
and while so doing observes the stone and 
the animal with fixed attention, then there 
arise in the soul two separate kinds of 
I emotion From the stone into the soul 
' there flows one kind of emotion, and from 
the animal another. Probably in the be- 
ginning the experiment will not succeed, 
but little by little, with genuine and 
i patient practice, these emotions become 
■ manifest. Again and again one should 
practise. At first the emotions only last 
as long as the contemplation. Later on, 
they work afterwards, and then they 
I grow to something which remains alive 
fin *i^e soul. One then needs only to 
reflect, and both emotions invariably 
arise, apart from all contemplation of aiv 
external object. 

Ou^oftlmse emotions^ ^ the thoughts 

are the outcome of misunderstanding. They have been 
described in many books, but they ^neyer form the 
subject of genuine (esoteric) teaching. 


whi ch a re bomd ufi .with them, clair - || 

For should | 

the plant be added to the contemplation, 
one will notice that the feeling outflow- 
ing from it, both in its quality and in its 
degree, lies between that which emanates 
from the stone and that from the animal. 
Th^ organs which are so formed are 
spiritual eyes. We learn by degrees and \ 
tmuugh their means to see both ^ j^ra l 
and mental colou rs. As long as one has 
only attained the condition described as 
Probation, the spiritual world with its 
lines and figures remains dark, but through 
Enlightenment it will become clear. It 
must be noted here that the words “ dark ” 
and “light,” as well as the other common 
^ expressions, do but approximately describe 
what is really meant. But if ordinary^ 
language is not used, there is none ' 
possible, and yet this language was only | 
constructed to suit physical conditions. 

Occult science describes what emanates 



( 134 ) 

from the stone and is seen by clairvoyant 
eyes, as “blue” or bluish-red ” : that 
which is observed as coming from the 
animal is described as “red” or “ reddisli- 
vellow.” In reality they are colours^. ,pf 
a spiritual kind which are discerned- 
The colour proceeding from the plant 
is “green.” Plants are just those natvfral 
phenomena whose qualities in the higher 
worlds are similar to their qualities in the 
physical world. But it is not so with 
stones and animals. It must now be 
clearly understood that the above-men- 
.tioned colours do but suggest the prevail- 
ing shades of the stone, the plant, or the 
ftwinaL In reality, all possible overtones 
exist Every animal, every stone, every 
‘ plant has its own peculiar shade of colour. 
In addition to these there are also the * 
creatures of the higher worlds, who never 

witli their own 
^®iSH^..pft®?^™3JweUqus, pfte^^Sorrible. 

variety of colours in these 


( 185 ) 

higher worlds is immeasurably greater 
than in the physical world. 

If a man has once acquired the faculty 
of seeing with spiritual eyes, he then, 
sooner or later, meets with thg beings 
here mentioned, some of them higher, 
some lower than man himself, beings 
whfo never entered into physical ex- 
istence. 

If he has come so far, the way to a 
great deal lies open before him ; but it is 
inadvisable to proceed any further with- 
out an experienced guide. Indeed, for 
all that has been here described, such 
experienced guidance is desirable. For 
the rest, if anyone has the power and 
endurance to travel so far that he fulfils 
the elementary conditions of enlighten- 
ment here described, he will assuredly j 
seek and discover his guide. 

But under all circumstances it is im- 
portant to give one warniog, and he who i 
will not apply it had better leave un-| 


trodden all the steps of occult science. 
It is necessary that he who would become 
an occult student should lose none of his 
attributes as a good and noble man, and one 
susceptible to all physical truths. Indeed, 
• throughout his apprenticeship he must 
."'continually increase his moral strength, 
I his inner purity, and his powers ■'of 
I observation. Let us give an example : 
During the preliminary practices of 
Enhghtenraent, the student must be care- 
ful to be always enlarging his sympathy 
|with the animal and human worlds, and 
jhis sense of Nature’s beauty. If he is not 
Careful to do this, he persistently blunts 
that sense and that feeling by the use of 
these practices. The heart would grow 
cold and the sense become blunted, and 
that could only lead to perilous results. 

How enlightenmen?^proceeds, if one 
rises, in the sense of the foregoing 
practices, from the stone, the plant, and 
the animal, up to man, and how, after 



( 137 ) 

enlightenment, under all circumstances, 
the gentle hand of the Pilot comes on a 
certain day, and leads to Initiation — of 
these things the next chapter will deal in 
so far as it can and may do so. 

In our time, the path to occult science 
is sought after by many. It is sought in 
vailous ways, and many dangerous and 
even objectionable practices are tried. 
Therefore it is that those who know some- 
thing of the truth concerning these things 
have allowed part of the occult training to 
be communicated. Only so much is here 
imparted as this permission allows, and it 
is necessary that something of the truth 
should be known in order that it may 
counteract the great danger of these 
errors. If nothing be fo^ed, there is no 
danger for him who follows the wayi 
already described ; only one thing should^ 
be noted ; nobody ought to spend more 
time or power upon such practices th,an 
what is at his disposal with due regard to 


( 138 ) 

Jiis circumstances and his duties. No one, 
for the sake of the occult path, ought 
suddenly to change anything in the 
external conditions of his life. If one 
desires genuine results, one naust ha^ 
patience ; one should be able to cease the 
practice after a few minutes, and then 
peacefully to continue one’s daily woS'k, 
and no thought of these practices ought to 
be mingled with the work of the day. He 
who has not learned to wait, in the best 
and highest sense of the word, is of no 
use as an occult student, nor will he 
ever attain results of much real value. 

He who is in search of the paths to 
occult knowledge, by the means which have 
been indicated in the foregoing pages, 
must fortify himself throughout the whole ^ 
course of his efforts by a certain thought. 
He must ever bear in mind that after 
persevering for some time he may have 
made very real progress without becoming 
conscious of it in the precise way which 


n 



( 139 ) 

he had expected. He who does not re- 
member this is likely to lose heart, and 
in a little while to abandon his efforts 
altogether. The mentalpowers and facul- 
tie^^out to be d.eYeloped 
the most subtle Jiind, and their nature 
differs entirely from the conceptions of 
th^ which are formed in the student’s 
mind. He was accustomed to occupy 
himself with the physical world alone. ; 
The mental and astral worlds eluded his ' 
gaze, and baffled his conceptions. It is, ; 
therefore, not remarkable if, at first, he 
fails to realise the new forces, mental and 
astral, which are developing in his own 
being. This is why it is dangerohS-to 
enter the path leading to occult. 

, ledge without experieuaed guidance. The 
teacher sees the progress made by the 
pupil, long before the latter becomes con- 
scious of it himself. He sees the delicate 
organs of spiritual vision beginning to 
form themselves, before the pupil is aware 


( If) ) 

of their existence, and a great part of the 
duties of the teacher consists in pei^etual 
wa; tchfulne ss. lest the disciple lose con- 
fidence, patience, and perseverance, before 
he becomes conscious of his own progress. 
The teacher, as we know, can confer upon 
the student no powers which are not 
already latent within him, and his sole 
function is to assist in the awakening of 
slumbering faculties. But he may be a 
pillar of strength to him who strives to 
penetrate through darkness into the light. 

There are many who leave the occult 
path soon after setting foot upon it. 
because they are not immediately cons ciou s 
. of the ir own progress. And even when 
higher experiences first begin to dawn 
upon the seeker, he is apt to regard them „ 
as illusions, because he had anticipated 
I them quite differently. He loses courage, 
either because he regards these first 
experiences as of no value, or because 
they appear so insignificant that he has no 



( 141 ) 

hope of their leading to any appreciable 
results within a measurable time. Cpur-’ 
age and self-confidence are the twp lamps* 
which must never be allowed to burn 
themselves out on the pathway to the^ 
occult. He who cannot patiently repeat 
an exercise which has failed for an 
apparently unlimited number of times, 
will never travel far. 

Long before any distinct perception of 
progress, comes an inarticulate mental 
impression that the right road has been 
found. This is a feeling to be welcomed, 
and to be encouraged, since it may develop 
into a trustworthy guide. Above all, it isu 
imperative to extirpate the idea that any 
fantastic, mysterious practices are required 
• for the attainment of higher experiences. 
It must be clearly realised that ordinary 
every-daj human feelings and. tbPiJghts 
must form the basis from 
is to be made, and that it is only needful 
to give these thoughts and feelings a new 


( 142 ) 

direction. Everyone must say to himself: 

“ In my own sphere of thoughts and sen- 
sations lie enfolded the deepest mysteries, 
but hitherto I have not been able to per- 
ceive them.” In the end it all resolves 
itself into the fact that man, ordinarily, 
carries body, soul, and spirit about with 
him, yet is conscious only of the body, not 
of the soul and spirit, and that the student 
attains to a similar consciousness of soul 
and spirit also. 

Hence it is highly important to give the 
prefer direction to thoughts and feelings, 
in order that one may develop the percep- 
tion of that which is invisible in ordinary 
life. One of the ways by which this 
development may be carried out will now 
be indicated. Again, like almost every- , 
thing else we have explained so far, it is 
quite a simple matter. Yet the results are 
of the greatest consequence, if the experi- 
ment is carried out with perseverance, and 
in the right frame of mind. 


# 



Place before you the gma ll seed of a 
^lant . It is then necessary, while con- 
templating this insignificant object, to 'Tf . 
create with intensity the right kind of /? 
thoughts, and through those thoughts to 
develop certain feelings. In the fijcst 
place, let the student clearly .£i aaiLJffi:hat 
is feally presented to ]tus,yision. Let him 
describe to himself the shape, colour, and 
all other qualities of the grain of seed. 
Then let his mind dwell iipon the fplloy^- 
ing train of thought; “This grain of seed, 
if planted in the soil, will grow into a 
plant of complex structure.” Let him 
clearly picture this plant to hiniself. Let 
him build it up in his imagination. And 
then let him reflect tlVat' the object now 
^ existing only in his imagination will pre- 
sently be brought into actual physical , 
existence by the forces of the earth and j 
of light. If the thing contemplated by 1 
him were an artificially-made object, 
though such a close imitation of nature 


( W4 ) 

that no external difference could be 
detected by human eyesight, no forces 
inherent in the earth or light could avail 
to produce from it a plant. He who 
thoroughly grasps this thought and in- 
ivardly assimilates it will also be able to 
jPorra the following idea with , the right 
Reeling. Bte will say to himself: “'fhat 
which is ultimately to grow out of this 
seed is already as a force now secretly 
enfol(ied within it. The artificial duplicate 
of the seed contains no such force. And 
yet both appear to be alike to my eyes. 
The real seed, therefore, contains some- 
thing invisible which is not present in the 
i jimitation.” It is this invisible something 
Ibn which thought and feeling are now to 
we concSatirated.^ Let the student fully ^ 

^ Anyone who might object that a microscopical 
examination would reveal the difference between the 
two would only show that he has failed to grasp the 
intention of the experiment. The intention is not to 
investigate the physical structure of the object, but to 
use U ^a^mea^ for the development of psychic 


r 



( W5 ) 

realise that this invisible something willj’ 
later on translate itself into a visible plant,; 
perceptible by him in jhape and colour.! 

Let him dwell upon the thought : “ The 
invisible will become visible. If I could 
not think, then I could not realise, already, 
that which will only become visible later 
on. 

Particular stress must be laid on the ,, 
iipportance of feeling with intensity! 
that which one thinks. In calmness of' 
mind a single thought must be vitally ex- ' ^ 

perienced within oneself to the exclusion of 
all disturbing influences. Sufficient time v 
must be taken to allow the thought, and ^ 
the state of feeling connected therewith, I ’ 
to become, as it were, imbedded in the 
♦soul. If that is accomplished in the right 
way — possibly not until after numerous 

attempts — an inward force will make 

itself felt. And this force will create , 
new powers of perception. The grain of 

seed will appear as if enclosed in a small 

10 






n 


luminous cloud. The spiritualised vision of 
the student perceives it as a kind of flame. 
This flame is of a lilac colour in the 
centre, blue at the edges. Then appears 
that which one could not see before, and 
which was created by the power of thought 
and feeling brought into life within oneself. 
That which was physically invisible ^he 
plant which will not become visible until 
later on) has there revealed itself to the 
spiritual eye. 

It is pardonable if, to many men, aU this 
appears to be mere illusion. Many will 
say : “ What is the value of such visions or 
such hallucinations ? ” And many will thus 
fall away, and no longer continue to tread 
the path. But this is precisely the import- 
ant point — not to confuse, at this difficult ^ 
stage of human evolution, spiritual reality 
with the mere creations of phantasy, and 
to have the courage to press manfully on- 
ward, instead of growing timorous and 
faint-hearted. On the other hand, how- 


( 147 ) 

ever, it is necessary to insist on the 
necessity of maintaining unimpaired, and 
of perpetually cultivating, the healthy 
attitude of mind which is required for 
the distinguishing of truth from illusion. 

Never during all these exercises must the 
student surrender the fully conscious 
control of himself. He must continue to/ 
think as soundly and sanely in these con-| 
ditions as he does with regard to the| 
things and occurrences of ordinary life.^ 

It would be a bad thing if he lapsed into 
reveries. He must at every moment be 
clear-headed and sober-minded, and it 
would be the greatest mistake if the 
student, through such practices, lost his .. 

mental eauili bnmn. or if he were prevented K" 

-from judging as sanely and clearly as 
before the matters of work-a-day life. The , 
disciple should, therefore, examine himself 
again and again to find out whether he 
has remained unaltered in relation to the - 
circumstances among which he lives, or j 


whetlier perchance he has lost his mental 
balance. He must ever maintain a calm 
repose within his own individuality, and 
an open mind for everything, being careful 
at the same time not to drift into vague 
reveries or to experiment with all sorts of 
exercises. 

The lines for development here indi- 
cated belong to those which have been 
followed, and whose efficacy has been 
demonstrated in the schools of occulti sm 
f rom the earlie st a ges, and none but such 
will here be given. Anyone attempting 
to employ methods of meditation devised 
by himself, or which he may have come 
across in the course of promiscuous read- 
ing, will inevitably be led astray, and will 
lose himself in a boundless morass ofp 
incoherent fantasies. 

A further exercise which may succeed 
the one described above, is the following ; 
Let the disciple place himself in front of 
a plant which has attained the stage of 


( 1 « ) 

full develojgment. Now let his mind be 
absorbed by the reflection that a time is 
at hand when this plant will wither and 
die. “ Nothing,” he should say to himself, 

“ nothing of what I now see before me will 
endure. But this plant will have evolved 
seeds which in their turn will grow into 
new plants. I beco me a ga in aw are that 
in wh at I see somethijig. lies, concealed 
which I cannot see. I will fill my mind 
wholly with the thought that this plant- 
form with its colours will cease to be. But 
the reflection that the plant has produced 
seeds teaches me thaf 
into^imthing- That which will prevent this 
disappearance, I can at present no more 
see with my eyes than I could originally 
• discern the plant in the grain of seed. 
The plant, therefore, contains soniething 
which my eyes are unable to see. If this 
thought fully lives in me, and combines 
with the corresponding state of feeling, 
then, in due time, there will again develop 


# 


a force in my soul which will ripen into 
a new kind of perception.” Out ol the 
plant there grows once more a flame-like 
appearance, which is, of course, corre- 
spondingly larger than that which was 
previously described. This flame is 
greenish at the centre, and is tinned 
with yellow at the outer edge. 

He who has won this vision has gained 
greatly, inasmuch as he sees things not 
'only in their present sta^ 
ralsoTin their development and^^^^^d^^^^ He 
tbegins to see in all things th e spirit , of 
which the bodily organs of sight have no 
’ Iperception. And he has thus taken the 
Unitial steps on tlSat road, which will 
■^a^ually enable him to solve, by direct 
jvision, th e secret of b irth and, death. To «■ 
the outer senses, a being begins to exist 
at its birth, and ceases to exist at its 
death. This, however, only appears to 
be so, because these senses are unable to 
apprehend the concealed spirit. Birth 



( 151 ) 

and death are only, for this spirit, trans- 
formations, just as the unfolding of the 
flower from the bud is a transformation 
enacted before our physical eyes. But if 
one desires to attain to direct perception 
of. these facts, one must first awaken the 
spiritual vision by the means here indi- 
cated. , 

In order to meet an objection which 
may be I'aised by certain people already 
possessed of some psychical experience, 
let it be at once admitted that there are 
shorter and simpler ways than this, and 
that there are persons who have direct 
perception of the actualities of birth and 
death, without having had to pass through ^ 
all the stages of discipline here set forth. 

• are ^ hum^a n be ings endowed with i 

high psychical faculties, to whom only a i 
slight impulse is necessary for the develop- ] 
ing of these powers. But they are excep- Z-jj 
tional, and the methods described above 
are safer, and are capable of general 


4 


( 152 ) 

application. Similarly, it is possible to 
gain some knowledge of chemistry by 
special methods; but in order to make 
safer the science of chemistry, the recog- 
nised, reliable course must be followed. 

An error fraught with serious conse- 
quences would result from the assumption 
that the goal could be reached more 
simply by allowing the mind to dwell 
merely on an imaginary plant or a grain 
of seed. It^may be possi ble by suc h 
means to. _ eyoke a force which jwpuld 
enable the soul to attain the inner visi on. 
But ^his vision will be, in most cases, a 
I mere figment of the imagination, for the 
I main object is not to create arbitrarily a 
I mental vision, but to allow the veritable 
I nature of things to form an image within 
1 one’s mind. The truth must yell up from 
the depth of one’s own soul, but the 
necromancer who shall call up the truth 
must not be one’s ordinary self, but 
rather must the objects of one’s per- 


( 1«3 ) 

ception themselves exercise their magical 
poffier, if one is to perceive their inner 
reahty. 

After the disciple has evolved, by suchfi 
means, the rudiments of spiritual vision, || ^ 

he^may proceed to the contemplation of| 
hupan nature itself. Simple_^p_earances ; 
of ordinary life be chosen first. But 
before making any attempts in this direc- 
tion, it is imperative for the student to 
strive after an absolu^te sincerity of rnqral 
character. He must banish all thoughts' 
of ever using the insight to be attained in 
these ways for his own personal benefit. ; 

He must be absolutely determined that 
under no circumstances will he avail him- 
self, in an evil sense, of any power which 
* he may gain over his fellow-creatures. 

This is the reason why everyone who de- 
sires to gain direct insight into the secrets ; ^ 
of human nature must follow the golden : ' 
rule of true Occultism. And the golden 
rule is this : For every one step that 


{ 164 ) 

you take in the pursuit of the hidden 
I knowledge, take three steps in the per- 
: fecting of your own character. He who 
f obeys this rule can perform such exercises 
as that which is now to be explained. 

Begin by observing a person filled with 
a desire for some objects Direct your 
attention to this desire. It is best to 
choose a time when this desire is at its 
height, and when it is not yet certain 
whether the object of the desire will be 
, attained or not. Then sur render yourself 
I entirely to the contemplation of that 
I which you obsesrve, but m 
I utmos t inne^. trauquilljty , of ^ jpul. Make 
« every endeavour to be deaf and blind to 
everything that may be going on around 
you at the same time, and bear in mind 
particularly that t his contemplati oja.^ 
to evoke a stat e of . feeli ng in your sco il- 
/Allow this state of feeling to arise in 
I your soul, like a cloud rising on an other- 
|wise cloudless horizon. It is to be ex- 


( 155 ) 

pected, of course, that your observation 
will be interrupted, because the person 
on whom it is directed will not remain 
in this particular state of mind for a 
sufficient length of time. Presumably 
yOji will fail in your experiment hundreds 
ai^l hundreds of times. It is simply a 
question of not losing patience. After 
many attempts you will ultimately realise 
the state of feeling spoken of above as 
fast as the corresponding mental pheno- 
mena pass through the soul of the person ', 
under observation. After a time you will;', 
begin to notice that this feeling in yp,url^ 
own soul is evoking the power of .spirit 
vision into the psychical condition of t,he|l 
other. A luminous image will appear in 
, your field of vision. And this luminous 
image is the so-called astral manifestation I 
evoked by the desire-state"^ wEen under 
observation. Again we may describe this I 
image as flame-hke in appearance. It is 
yellowish red in the centre and reddish 


m 



7 ’ 


( 156 ) 

blue or lilac at the edges. Much depends 
upon treating such experiences of the 
inner vision 5v:ith great delicacy. It will 
be best for you at first to talk of them 
to nobody except your teacher, if you 
have one. The attempt to describe si^h 
appearances in appropriate words usue^y 
only leads to gross self-deception. One 
employs ordinary terms not applicable 
to such purposes, and therefore much 
too gross and clumsy. The consequence 
is that one’s own attempt to clothe this 
vision in words unconsciously leads one 
to blend the actual experience with an 
aUoy of imaginary details. It is, there- 
fore, another important law for the occult 
inquirer that he sh ould know how to 
observe, sifepce copcerinng- • 

visio ns. Observe silence even towards 
yourself. Dd“ hot"" mideavour to express 
Tn words that which you see, or to fathom 
it with reasoning faculties that are in- 
adequate. Freely surrender yourself to 


( 1S7 ) 

these spiritual impressions "without any 
mental reservations, and without disturb- 
ing them by thinking about them too: 
much. For you must remember that- 
your reasoning faculties were, at first, 
b\no means equal to your faculties of 
ob|ervation. You have acquired these | 
reasoning faculties through experiences J 
hitherto confined exclusively to the world 5 
as apprehended by your physical senses, i 
and thje faculties you are now acquir- 
ing tra nscend these experiences. Do not, 
therefore, try to measure your new and 
higher perceptions by the old standard. 
Only he who has already gained some 
certainty in his observation of inner ex- 
periences ought to speak about them with 
« the idea of thereby stimulating his fellow- 
beings. 

As a sujpl^^ta^e^ise the Mpw- 
ing may be set forthT^ Direct your obser- 
vation in the same way upon a fellow- 
being to whom the fulfilment of some 


( iss ) 


wish, the gratification of some desire has 
just been granted. If the same rules and 
I precautions are adopted as in the previous 
i instance, you will once more attain to 
I spiritual perception. You will distinguish 
a flame-like appearance which is yellafiv 
in the centre and greenish at the ed®s. 
By such o bservations of one’ s „feIl.Qw- 
creatures one m aY.„MsilY. be^,lfiil_^^^^^^ 

m oral f ault — pne, tttay bepom e„,jpQjcd^ 

able. All conceivable means must be 

taken to fight against this tppdency. 

Anyone exercising such powers of obser- 
vation should have risen to the level on 
/which one is absolutely convinced that 
i thoughts are actual things. He may then 
' mionger allow himself to admit thoughts 
! incompatible with the highest reverence 
for the dignity of human life and of human 
liberty. Hot for one moment must he 
\ entertain the idea of regarding a human 
being as a mere object for observation. 
It must be the aim of self-education to 



( 15 » ) 

see that the faculties for a psychic obser- 1 
vation of human nature go hand in hand * 
with a full recognition of the rights ofj 
each individual. T hat whi ch, dwells in~ 
each human being must be regarded as? 
something holy, and to be held inviolatef 
by lis even in our thoughts and feelings/ 
We must be possessed by a feeling of 
reverential awe for all that is human. 

For the present, only these two ex- 
amples can be given as to the methods 
by which an insight into human nature 
may be achieved, but they will at least 
serve to point out t he way w h ich must b e 
followe d. He who has gained the inner 
tranquillity and repose which are in- 
dispensable for such observations, will; 
.already, by so doing, have undergone a. 
great transformation. This will soon 
reach the point at which the increase of 
his spiritual worth will manifest itself in 
the confidence and composure of his out- 
ward demeanour. Again, this alteration 


I 




( 1«0 ) 

in his demeanour will react favourably on 
his inner condition, and thus he will be 
able to help himself further along the 
road. He will find ways and means of 
penetrating more and more into the 
secrets of human nature, hidden l^m 
our external senses, and he will then llso 
I become ripe for a deeper insight into 
the mysterious correlations between ^tfie 
nature of man, and of all else that exists 
, in the Tmiyerse. By following this path, 

3 the disciple will approach closer and 
I closer to the day on which he will be 
I deemed worthy of taking the first steps 
I of initiation ; but before these can be 
ttaken one thing more is necessary. At 
first it may not be at all apparent to the 
student why it should be necessary, but?> 
he cannot fail to be convinced of it in the 
end. 

, The quality which is indispensable to 
him who would be initiated is a certain 
measure o f courage and fearlessnes s. He 




( 1 « 1 ) 

must absolutely go out of his way to find 
opportunities for developing these virtues. 
In the occult schools they are cultivated 
quite systematically ; but life in this 
respect is itself an excellent school of 
oc(^ltism, nay, possibly the best. To 
facefi danger calmly, to try to overcome 
difficulties unswervingly, this is what the 
student must learn to do ; for instance, in, 
the presence of some peril, he must rise 
at once to the conception that fears are 
altogether useless, and ought not to be 
entertained for one moment, but that the \ 
mind ought simply to be concentrated on ■ 
what is to be done. He must reach a‘ 
point where it has become impossible for 
him ever again to feel afraid or to lose his 
.pourage. By self-discipline in this direction 
he will develop within himself quite distinct 
qualities which he needs if he is to be 
initiated into the higher mysteries. Just j 
as man in his physical being requires 

nervous force in order to use his physical \ 

11 


n 


( 162 ) 

' senses, so also, in his psychic nature, he 
requires the force which is only produced 
in the courageous and the fearless. For 
in penetrating to the higher, mysteries he 
wiU see things which are concealed from 
ordinary humanity by the illusions qf^he 
senses. The latter, by hiding the higher 
verities from our gaze, are in reality our 
benefactors, since they prevent us from 
perceiving that which, if realised without 
due preparation, would throw us into 
unutterable consternation, things which 
we could not bear to behold. The 
disciple must be able to endur e this sight. 
He loses certain supports in the outer 
world which were owing to the very 
illusions that encompassed him. It is 
truly and literally as if his attention werq, 
suddenly drawn to a certain danger by 
which for some time he had already 
been threatened unconsciously. He was 
not afraid hitherto, but now that he 
se^ his peril, he is overcome by terror, 


( 168 ) 

although the danger has not been 
rendered any greater by his knowledge 
thereof. 

The forces at work in the world are 
both destructive and creative. The 
de^iny of manifested beings is birth and 
dea/!(h. The Initiate is to behold this 
march of destiny. The veil, which in the 
ordinary course of hfe clouds the spiritual 
eyes, is then to be uplifted. The man is 
himself, however, interwoven with these 
forces, with this destiny. His own nature 
contains destructive and creative powers. 
As undisguisedly as the other objects of 
his vision are revealed to the eye of the 
seer, his own soul is bared to his gaze. 
In the face of this self-knowledge, the 
disciple must not suffer himself to droop, 
and in this he will only succeed if he has 
brought with him an excess of the necessary 
strength. In order that this may be the| 
case he must learn to maintain inner cahn' 
and confidence in the i^t difficult ck^ 




( 164 ) 

stances ; lie must nourish within himself 
a firm faith in the beneficent forces of 
existence. He must be prepared to find 

> that many motives which have actuated 
him hitherto will actuate him no lon^r. 
He must needs perceive that he mas 
hitherto often thought or acted in a ceirain 
manner,- because he was still in the toils 
of ignorance. Reasons like those which 
influenced him before will now disappear. 

• He has done many things out of personal 

• vanity ; he will now perceive how utterly 
futile all such vanity is in the eye s o f the 

I I nitia te. He has done much from motives 
of avarice ; he will now be aware of the 
destructive eflfect of all avariciousness. 
He will have to develop entirely new 
springs for his thought and action, and itr 
is for this that courage and fearlessness 
are required. 

It is a matter especially of cultivating 
this courage and this fearlessness in the 
inmost depths of the mental life. The 


r 


disciple must learn never to despair. He 
must always be equal to the thought; 
“I will forget that I have again failed 
in this matter. I will try once more as 
though nothing at all had happened.” Thus 
heAwill fight his way on to the firm con- 
viction that the universe contains inex- 
haustible fountains of strength from which 
he may drink. He must aspire again and 
again to the Divine which will uplift 
and support him, however feeble and im- 
potent the mortal part of his being may 
prove. He must be capable of pressing 
on towards the future, undismayed by any 
experiences of the past. Every teacher 
of Occultism will carefully ascertain how 
far the disciple, aspiring to initiation 
.into the higher mysteries, has advanced 
on the road of spiritual preparation. If 
he fulfil these conditions to a certain point, 
he is then worthy to hear uttered those | 
Names of things which form the key I 
that unlocks the higher knowledge. For i 


( 166 ) 

Initiation c on si sts in this very act of 
learnTng* to know the things of the uni- 
verse by those Names which they bear 
in the spirit of their Divine Author. 

^ And the mystery of things lies in th^e 
Namesr Therefore is it that the Inimte 
speaks another language than tha^ of 
the uninitiate, for the former knows the 
Names by which things were called into 
existence. 



. YI 

INITIATION 

”^5® Ugliest point in an occult school, of 
which it is possible to speak in a book for 
general readers, is Initiation. One can- 

lies bex ond. though the way to it can 
always be found by one who has previously 
pressed forward and penetrated the lower? 
secrets and mysteries. 

The knowledge and power which are 
• conferred upon a man through Initiation 
could not be obtained in any other 
manner exciting m some 
future, after many incarnations, on quite 
another road and in quite another 
form. He who is initiated to-day ex- 

167 



( 1«8 ) 

periences something which he would 
otherwise have to experience at a much 
later period and under quite different 
circumstances. 

« It is right that a person should learn 
^the ~seci^ of nature only so much^s 
I corrSponds to his own degree of deyelpp- 
t na^C aiid for reason alone do 

; obstacles bar his way to complete know- 
ledge and power. People should not be 
trusted with the use of fire-arms until 
they have had enough experience to make 
it certain that they will not use them 
mischievously or without care. If a 
person, without the necessary preparation, 
were initiated to-day, he would lack those 
experiences which, in the normal course 
of his development, would come to him in ^ 
the future during other incarnations and 
would then bring with them the corre- 
sponding secrets. At the door of Initia- 
tion these experiences must, therefore, be 
sugplmd^n^some Other w;ay^ an d in the ir 



( 169 ) 

place the c andi date has to undergo the 
prelmiinary teaching. These are so-called 
‘‘ wMch ^ to be passed. These 

trials are now being discussed in various 
pj^agazines and books, but, owing to their 
very nature, it is not surprising that 
quite false impressions about them are 
received. For those who have not already 
gone through the periods of Probation and 
Enlightenment have seen nothing of these 
trials, and consequently cannot appropri- 
ately describe them. 

Certain matters or subjects connected 
with the higher worlds are produced 
before the candidate, but he is only able 
to see and hear these when he can 
perceive clearly the figures, tones, and 
• colours, for which he has been prepared 
by the teachings on Probation and 
Enlightenment. 

The first trial consists in obtaining a'j- 
cleajw" comprehension of t^^ corporeal 
attributes of lifeless things, then of plants,! 


( 170 ) 

of animals, of human beings (in the way 
thS the average person possesses them). 
This does not mean what is commonly 
called “scientific knowledge”; with that 
it has no connection, but it has to 
with intuition . What occurs is usually 
that the Initiate discloses to the can- 
didate how the objects of nature and the 
essence of living things reveal themselves 
to the spiritual and mental hearing and 
sight. In a certain way these things 
then lie revealed — naked — before the 
beholder. Attributes and qualities which 
are concealed from physical eyes and 
ears can then be seen and heard. Here- 
tofore they have been enwrapped as in 
a veil, and the falling away of this veil 
for the candidate, occurs at what is - 
called the Process of Purificatio n fey 
Pire, The first trial is therefore imown 
as the “Fire-Trial.” 

For somH people the ordinary life of 
every day is a more or less unconscious 



( 171 ) 

pi'ocess of initiation by means of the Fire- 
Trial. These persons are those who have 
passed through a wealth of developing 
experiences, and who find that their self- ' 
(jonfidence, courage, and fortitude have 
been greatly augmented in a normal way! 

— who have learned to bear sorrow and 
disappointment, from the failure of their 
undertakings, with greatness of mind, and 
especially with quiet and unbroken H 

strength. Those whc^have gone through ' .. 

such experiences are often initiates, with- ,, / , "r , 
out knowing it, and it needs but little ; '' 
to open for them the spiritual hearing| 
and sight — to make them clairvoyant|J 
For it must be noted that a genuine 
Fire-Trial is not merely intended to 
, satisfy the curiosity of the candidate. 

He would learn, undoubtedly, many un- 
usual things, of which others, devoid of 
such experiences, can have no idea; but 
yet this knowledge is not the eud or I 
aim, but merely the path to the end. I 


( If2 ) 

The real aim and object is this — that 
the candidate shall acquire for himself, 
through this knowledge of the higher 
worlds, a greater and truer self-confidence, 
a higher and nobler courage, and a per- 
severance, an attitude of mind, altogether 
different from what he could have ob- 
tained in the lower world. 

After the Fire-Trial a candidate may 
always turn back ; but because he has 
been thror^h it, he wiU resume his life, 
'Strengthened in alt his spiritual and phy- 
sical relations, and ij \^ his next incarna.tion 
>he win continue to seek for initiation. In 
his present life, at all events, he will prove 
himself a more useful member of society, 
will be of greater service to humanity 
■|than he was before, and in whatever posi- « 
ftion he may find himseK, his firmness, 

{ prudence, and favourable influence over 
I his fellows will have greatly increased. 

But if, after coming out of the Fire- 
Trial, he should wish to continue in the 



occult school, he has then to be 
instructed in a certain writing-system 
wjiich is used by those in the school. 
Occult teachings are written in this occult 
'W^riting-system, because what is really 
occult can neither be perfectly spoken of 
in words of our ordinary speech, nor set 
forth in the ordinary ways of writing. 
Those who have learned from the 
Initiates endeavour to translate the 
teachings of Occultism as best they may 
into terms of ordinary speech. 

The symbols or signs of the secret 
script are not arbitrarily invented, or; 

a.* ^ 

magined. b^,sfi£cesp.Qnd to powers wW^ J 
are active and efficacious in the yvorld. It ^ 
is through these symbols or signs that one 
learns the language of such matters. The 
candidate immediately sees for himself 
that these symbols correspond to the > 
figures, tones, and colours which he has ; 
learned to perceive during the periods of/ 
Probation and Enlightenment. He now*; 


I 


( 174 ) 

undei^tands that all which went before 
was only like learning how to spell, and 
that only now does he b^egin tQ read ,m 
the higher worlds. All that appeared 
[to him before as separate figures, tonef^, 
and colours, is now revealed to him as 
a perfect unity, a coherent harmony, and 
now, for the first time, he attains a real 
certainty in observing and following the 
higher worlds. Hitherto it was not 
^possible for him to be sure that what he 
saw had been clearly or correctly per- 
ceived. How, too, it is possible, at last, 
that a correct understanding, in the 
spheres of the higher knowledge, can 
begin to arise between the candidate and 
the Initiate. For no matter how close 
the connection between the two may be, - 
no matter what form their intercourse 
may take in ordinary life, the Initiate can 
only communicate to the candidate, on 
these planes, in the direct form or figures 
of the secret alphabet. 



Through this occult speech the student ' 
also learns certain rules of conduct for; 

' ' ■ I 

life, certain duties and obligations, oflj 
which, before, he knew nothing what- || 
^ver. When he learns to know these,!/ 
he is able to perform actions which have ! 
a significance and meaning such as the 
actions of one who is not initiated can 
never possess. The only point of view 
from which he is now able to look upon ’ 
things, the only plane from which hej 
can now make manifest his deeds, is that ) 
of the higher worlds. Instructions con| 
cermngjuch^dee^ 
understo o d, in the sep.rpi/. script 

Yet it must be emphasized and clearly 
apprehended that there are p ersons wh o, 

, uncom cioiisly, a bility or facu lty 

of performing these actions, notwithstand- \ 
ing that they have never been in an occult 
school. Such “ helpers of humanity and 
the world” proceed blessedly and bene- 
ficently through hfe. There are certain 


( 176 ) 

fundamental reasons, which cannot be 
here discussed, why they are in posses- 
sion of seemingly supernatural gifts. The 
difference between these persons and the 
pupils of an occult school is only that 
the former act unconsciously, but the 
latter with a full knowledge, insight, 
judgment, and understanding of the 
V* entire matter in hand. The candidate 
1 j : wins by training, what has been bestowed 
j/ upon his fellow by a Higher Power, for 
, I the good of humanity. One should freely 
and openly honour these favoured ones of 
God ; but one should not, on their account, 
consider the work of the occult schools 
unnecessary or superfluous. 

Now that the student has learned the 
“ Mystery language,” there yet awaits 
him another trial. By this he must 
prove whether he can move with freedom 
and certainty in the higher worlds. In 
ordinary life a man will be impelled to 
actions by outward motives and con- 




( 177 ) 

ditions. He works at this or that be- 
cause certain duties are imposed upon 
him by outward circumstances. It need 
hardly be mentioned that the occult 
strident must in no way neglept any of 
the duties connected with his ordinary 
li|e because he is working in an occult | 
school and in the higher worlds. None ; 
of his duties there can constrain him 
to treat with inattention or careless- 
ness any one of his duties in the lower 
world. The father will remain just as 
good a father to his family, the mother 
just as good a mother, and neither the 
oflBicer nor the soldier, nor anyone else, 
will be detained from their necessary 
duties because they happen to be students 
,in an occult school. On the cpntr|iry, 
all the qualities which make men capable! 
are increased to a degree of which! 
the uninitiated can form no idea. Thal| 
this may not always appear to be th^ 

case in the eyes of the uninitiated il 

12 


( 178 ) 


merely due to the fact that he has not 
always the ability to correctly judge or 
criticise the I mti ate, of the 

latter are not always entirely intelligible 
to the former. But, as we have said 
before, this only happens in certain cases. 

For him who has arrived at the so- 

1 called “Steps of Initiation,” there are 
now duties to be periormed to ■which 
outer stimulus is given. He will be 
nioved to do these things by no external 
pressure, but by those rules of conduct 
which have been communicated to him 
in the mystery-language. In this second 
J trial he must prove that, ^lgd by such 
/rules of conduct, he can act from inn er 
I pronaptings just as firmly as an officer 
performs his obligatory duties. For this., 
purpose the teacher will set before the 
pupil certain definite tasks. The latter 
has now to execute some deed in conse- 
quence of observations made from the 
basis of what he learned during Probation 




( 179 ) 

and Enlightenment. He has to find the 
way to what he is now to perform, by 
means of the mystery-language, which 
by this time is familiar to him. If he 
discerns his duty and executes it cor- 
rectly, he has endured the trial, and he 
recognises the success which attends the 
fulfilment of the task by the changed * 
manner with which the spiritual eyes and y 
ears now apprehend the figures, tones, 
and colours. The occult teacher tells him \ 
distinctly how these must appear after 
the consummation of the trial, and the 
candidate must know how he can effect 
this change. This trial is known as the 
Watey-Tn ah because in consequence of 
it^ei^^mance taking place on the higher 
" planes, that support which would other^ 
wise have been received from outward^,,^ 
conditions is now taken away. One’s I 
movements are like those which are made* 
in^-^at^r by someone who is learning to'f 
swim. He feels no support under his 


/ 


( 180 ) 

feet. This practice must be often re- 
peated untiF the candidate attains absolute 
poise and assurance. 

These trials are also dependent upon 
a quahty which is produced by the er- 
periences in the higher worlds. The 
candidate cultivates this quality to an 
extent which, in so short a time, he could 
not possibly reach while developing in the 
ordinary way, but could only attain after 
many incarnations. In order, to bring 
about the change here mentioned, the 
following is the principal necessity : The 
candidate must altogether be guided by 
what has been proven to him by the 
cultivation of his higher faculties, by the 
results of his reading in the secret cyphers. 

Should he, during these experiences,- 
attempt to introduce any of his own 
opinions or desires, or should he diverge 
for one moment from the laws and rules 
which he has proved to be right, some- 
thing quite other than that which is 




{ 181 ) 


meant will occur, "^...-auch cases the 5| 
^ndidate loses sight of the go al for w hich Ij 
^ese underfc^ and the ; 

result is only confusion. He has, there- 
fore, manifold opportunities, during these 
trials, for the development of self-control, 
and this, indeed, is the principal quality 


needed. These trials are, therefore, much 
more easily endured by those who, before 
initiation, have gone through a life which 
has enabled them to acquire command of 
themselves. Those who have developed 
the characteristic of following their higher 
principles and ideals without thought of 
personal honour or desire, who discern 
always the duty to be fulfilled, even 
though the inclinations and sympathies 
- are too often ready to lead them another 
way, are already, in the midst of everyday 
life, unconscious initiates. They need but 
little to enable them to succeed in the 
prescribed trials. Indeed, one may say 
that a certain measure of initiation, thus 


■( 182 ) 

unconsciously acquired in life, will be 
absolutely necessary before entering upon 
the second trial. For even as many who 
during youth have not learnt to write or 
spell, find much difficulty in learning to do 
so during later years, so is it also difficult 
to develop, merely from a knowledge of 
the higher worlds, the necessary degree of 
self-control, if one has not already acquired 
a certain measure of it in the course of 
ordinary life. 

The things of the physical world do 
not alter, however we may desire them 
to do so, but in the higher worlds our 

t|at,.K84l4Cfi..-^cts. If we desire to 
bring about particular changes in these 
worlds, we must hold ourselves in absolute 
control, we must follow the right principle, 
i mist entirely subdue the per sona, ! will. 

There is an attribute which at this stage 
of initiation ha,s to be especially con- 
sidered, — a healthy and sure faculty 


( 188 ) 

of judgment. Attention must be directed 
to the education of this faculty during 
all the previous stages, and in the course 
of them it must be proved whether the 
(Sandidate has developed this quality 
sufficiently to make him fit to tread the 
path of true knowledge. Furtter^ prcy' 
gress is now only possible for him , if hi 
i^able to distinguish illusion,, superstition! 
unsut^stantial, fancies, and all manner 
such things, from the true realities. Af 
first, this is much more difficult to 
accomplish upon the higher stages of 
existence than upon the lower. Every 
prejudice, every cherished opinion regard- 
ing these matters, in whatever connec- 
tion, must vanish away. Truth al o ne mu st 
" guide. There must be perfect readiness 
"^^rrender at once any existing opinion, 
idea, or inclination, when the logical idea 
demands it. Absolute certainty m the , 
higher worlds is only to be obtained when j 
oae neve r Qbtrudea ,imajs.i3L^ opinions. 


People whose mode of thought inclines 

so forth, 

can make no progress on the occult way. 
In truth, it is a glorious treasure that the 
occult student shall attain. All doubt as 
to the higher worlds will be taken away 
from him . In all their law they will 
reveal themselves to his gaze. But so 
long as he is blindfolded he cannot win 
these heights and compensations. It 


were, indeed, unhappy for him if his 
phantasies and superstitions ran away 
with his intellect and reason. Dreamers 
and people inclined to phantasies are as 
fh® occult path as are super- 
stitious people ; for in dreams, phantasies, 
and superstitions lurk the most dangerous 
enemies on the road to knowledge. But 
because upon the gateway which leads to 
the second trial are written the words, 

because 

the candidate has already seen upon the 
portals that opened to him the first trial. 


I 

I 


( 18 S ) 

the words, “Without a normal common- 
sense all your efforts are in *vain,” — yet 
it is not necessary to think that the 
capacity for inspiration and enthusiasm, 
&nd all the poetry of life, is lost to the 
student of Occultism. 

If he be now sufficiently advanced, a 
t^pd trial awaits the candidate. No aim, 
no boundary lines, are here set for him. 
All is left entirely in his own hands. He 
finds himself in a condition where nothing 
causes or induces him to act. He must 
find the way of his own accord and from 
within himself. Conditions or people who 
might have stimulated him to action are 
no longer there. Nothing and nobody 
can give the strength which he now needs, 
• but he himself alone. If he should not 
find this strength within himself, he will 
very soon find himself standing where he 
was before ; but it must be remarked that 
very few of those who have endured the 
previous trials will fail at this point in 



( 18 « ) 

finding the necessary strength. Either 
they will have turned back already or they 
can endure at this point also. The only 
thing necessary is the aMity to make a 
resolution q^uiekly. For here, in the truesC 
meaning of the phrase, one must find ope- 
self. In all matters one must quickly 

| spirations of tj^e gp kit. One has no time 
%r doubt or delay. Every moment of 
hesitation would add to the proof that one 
was not yet ready. All that hinders one 
from hearing the voice of the spirit must 
be boldly conquered. It is entirely a 
matter of proving one’s presence of mind, 
and it is this attribute to which attention 
must be paid during all the foregoing 
stages of development. All temptations 
to act, or even to think, which hitherto 
assailed a man, must now cease; but in 
order that he may not slip into inaction, 
he must not lose his hold upon himself. 
For only in himself can he find that one 


I 


! 


''i 



( 187 ) 

sure centre-point on which he can depend. 
No one, without further familiarity with 
the subject, should feel an antipathy to 
this principle of self-rejection. For him 
Who has endured the trials already 
described, it indicates the most perfect 
felicity. 

And in this, as, before = 
mentioned, for ma-ny people, everyday life ; 
itself can be an occult,, school. People ; 
who have reached the point of being able, 
when suddenly confronted with some task 
or problem demanding immediate action, 
to come to a swift resolution, to act with- 
out delay or personal consideration, have, 
indeed, undergone their occult schooling 
in everyday life. The situation which 
one wishes to suggest is one in which a 
successful action is impossible unless 
the person concerned grasps the whole 
matter and acts at once. He is quick [ 
to act when misfortune is in sight, when ; 
a moment’s hesitation may produce a 


* 


catastrophe; and he who possesses the 
qualities which can be developed into a 
permanent attribute of such a kind, has 
already evolved, unknown to himself, the 
degree of ripeness necessary for the third .W 
trial. Tor, as already remarked, at this 
stage it all depends upon the development 
of presence of mind. 

In the occult schools this trial is known 
as the “Air-Trial,” because while under- 
going It the candidate can support him- 
self neither upon the firm ground, nor any 
external cause, nor that which he has 
learned in Probation and Enlightenment 
from the figures and tones and colours, 
but solely upon himself. 

If the occult student has endured theise 
• triak, he then permitted to enter “the* 
STemple of thp H^he^ All that 

]can be further said upon this subject can 
ionly be given out in the smallest hints 
land suggestions. That which has now to 
be performed has been so often put into 


I 


( 189 ) 

words that many say that the pupil has 
here to take an “ oaA,” promising .^tp be- 
tray nothing that comes from the teacher. 
Nevertheless these expressions “ oath ” 
and “ betrayal ” are in no way appropriate, 
but are only misleading. It is no matter 
of an oath in the ordinary sense of the 
w;ord, but is rather an experience that 
com es at this stage. Here the candidate 
appreciates the true value of the occult 
teachers, and their place in the service 
of humanity. At last he begins to under- 
stand the world correctly. It is not so 
much a matter of “ withholding ” the higher 
truths now learned, but much more of up- 
holding them in the right way and with 
the necessary tact. That about which 
one learns to “keep silence” is something 
quite different. One gains possession of 
this fine attribute in regard to many things 
of which one had previously spoken, and 
especially in regard to the manner in which 
one has spoken of them. Yet it would be 




( 1 «« ) 


a bad Initiate who did not place all his 
mystical experiences, as adequately and as 
far-reachingly as possible, at the service 
of humanity. The sole obstacle to com- 
imunication in such matters is the mis^ 
understanding of the person who receives 
lit. Above all, the higher secrets dp npt 
Sallow themselves to be spoken abpjit 
I promiscuously, but to none who has 
I passed the steps of development above 
\ described, is it actually forbidden to 

I speak of these matters. No one is asked 
for a negative ^path, but e v ery thing- is 
placed on one’s own responsibility. What 
one really learns is to find out within 
oneself what should be done under all 

. circumstances, and the “ oath ” means 
I nothing more than this, that one is found 
I qualified to be entrusted with such a 
' responsibility. 

If the candidate is found fit, he is then 

I I given what is called, symbolically, “ the 
|l draught of forgetfulne ss.” This means 


I 


( 191 ) 

that he will be initiated into the secret 
knowledge enabling him to act without 
being continually disturbed by the lower 
memory. This is absolutely necessary for 
4he Initiate, for he must possess full faith 
in the immediate present. He must be • 
able to destroy that veil of memory which 
extends itself round humanity more and 
more thickly with every moment of life. 

If one judges of something which 
happens to one to-day, according to the 
experiences of yesterday, one is subjected 
by so doing to a multitude of errors. JDf > 
c ourse, it is not intended tlmt ,tha,.r§a4er 
skpuld think that one ought to ren ou nce 
all tl^e, experience acquired in Jife. ^ 

One ought always t o keep it in mind. as 1 
firmly, as possibl e. But as an Initiate one j 
should retain the ability for judging every 
fresh experience from outside of oneself, 
unclouded by all bygone experiences. 
One must be prepared, at every moment J 
that a new thing or being shall bring to, | 


m 


( 192 ) 

one a ney reve^ If one judges the 
new by the standard of the old, one 
necessarily falls into error. For this 
very reason, the memory of past ex- 
periences is useful, for they make ono 
capable of seeing the new. If one had 
not gone through a certain experience, 
one would probably not have seen at all 
the attributes of this or that being or 
thing; but such experiences ought only to 
enable one to discern the new, and not by 
any means to cause one to judge it by 
the old. In this way the Initiate obtains 
certain definite qualities, and by means of 
these many things are revealed to him, 
while they remain concealed from the 
uninitiated. 

, The second draught which is given to- 
ithe Initiate is the “draught of remem- 
Ibrance.” By receiving this he becomes 
|:apable of keeping the Wgher secrets ever- 
present in the soul. Ordinary memory 
would not be sufficient to ensure this ; one 


must be absQ ltttfily at oae with the higher 
truths. One must not merely know them, 
but be able, as a matter of course, to 
manifest and administer them in living 
actions, even as an ordinary man eats and - 
drinks. They miust become one’s practice, 
one’s inclinations, one’s habits. It must be 
unnecessary to think of them consciously 
(in the usual sense of the word) ; they 
must become a part of oneself and expj 
themselves through one’s very being ; they I 
must flow through one, even as the life- | 
currents run through one’s organism. So I 
must we make ourselves as perfect in a j 
spiritual sense as nature has made us in 
a physical. 


THE HIGHER EDUCATION OF 
THE SOUL 


If a man carries out the culture of his 
thoughts and feelings and emotions in the 
way already described in the chapters on 
Probation, Enlightenment, and Initiation, 
he then effects a change in his soul such 
as Nature has effected in his body. 
Before this training, soul and spirit are 
undifferentiated masses. In such a state 
■the clairvoyant will perceive them as inter* 
‘lacing^clouds, rotating spirally, and having 
usually a dull glimmer of reddish colour 
?or reddish-brown, or, perhaps, of reddish- 
l^ellow; byit after this culture they begin 
to assume a brilliant yellowish-green or 






( 195 ) 

yellow-blue coloxir, and become of 
regular structure. A man attains to such 
regularity of structure, and at the same 
time to the higher knowledge, when he 
brings into the region of his thoughts, S 
feelings, and emotions, an order such as j 
Nature has brought into his bodily organs, p 
by means of which he can see, hear, digest, | 
breathe, speak, and so forth. Gradually i 
the student learns, as it were, to breathe, 
to see with the soul, and to speak and 
hear with the spirit. 

In the following pages only a few of the 
practical points pertaining to the higher 
education of the soul and spirit will be 
more fully treated. They are such as 
may be practically attained by anyone 
•without additional instruction, and by 
means of which a further step in occult 
science may be taken. 

A particular kind of discipline inust be 
patiently attempted. Every emotion of 
impatience produces a paralysing, nay. 


( 196 ) 


even a deadening, effect on the higher 
^ faculties latent within us. One must not 
I expect immeasurable glimpses of the higher 
j worlds to open out before one from day 
i to day, for assuredly, as a rule, this doef 
; not occur. Content with the smallest 
attainment, repose and tranquillity must 
more and more possess the soul. It 
is conceivable, of course, that the learner 
should impatiently expect results, but he 
will attain to nothing so long as he fails 
to master this impatience. Nor is it 
of any use to struggle against this 
impatience in the ordinary way, for then 
it will only become stronger than ever. 
It is thus that men deceive themselves, 
for in such a case it plants itself all the 
more deeply in the depths of the soul.* 


It is only by repeatedly surrendering 
oneself to a single definite thought, and 
by making it absolutely one’s own, that 
anyj^ag.m One should 

think: “I must certainly do everything 



( 197 ) 

possible for the culture of soul and spirit, 
but I wi ll w ah tranq^uilly until, by higher : 
powers, I shall be found worthy of definite ^ 
illumination.” When this thought has 
become so powerful in a man that it is an 
actual trait in his character, he is tread- 
ing the right path. This trait will then ^ 
express itself even in external affairs. * 
The gaze of the eye becomes trang[uil ; the .! 
movements of the body become sure;| j 
the resolutions defined; and all that wet I 
call nervous susceptibility gradually disap-I J 
pears. Rules that seem trifling and insig- 
nificant must be taken into account. For 
example, suppose that someone affronts 
us. Before this occult education, we should 
have directed our resentment against the 
'“wrong-doer ; there would have been an 
uprush of anger within us. But in such 
a case the occult student will think to 
himself : “ An affront of this kind can \ 
make no difference to my worth,” and J 
whatever must be done to meet the 


I 


affront, he accomplishes with calm and 
composure, not with passion. To him it 
is not a matter of how an affront is to he 
borne, but without hesitation he is led 
to punish an affront to his own persoS 
exactly as if it had been ofi’ered to another, 
in which case one has the right to resent 
it. It must always be remembered that 
the occult training is perfected not by 
coarse external processes, but by subtle, 

• silent alterations in the life of thought 
i and emotion. 

Patience has an attractive, impatience 
a repellent, effect on the treasures of the 
higher knowledge. In the higher regions 
of being, nothing can be attained by haste 
and restlessness. Above all things, desire 
and longing must be silenced, for these* 
are qualities of the soul before which 
' all higher knowledge recedes. However 
precious this knowledge may be accounted, 
one must not desire to anticipate the 
time of its coming. He who wishes to 


• § 


( 199 ) 

have it for his own sake will never attain 
it. Before all things it is demanded that 
one should be true to oneself in one’s 
innermost soul. One must not there be} 
Tieceived by anything ; one must encounter,) 
face to face and with absolute truthful- j 
ness, one’s own faults, failings, and unfit-i 
ness. The moment you try to excuse toi 
yourself any one of your weaknesses, you 
have placed an obstacle in the way which 
is to lead you upward. Such obst acles \ 
can only be removed by.jelfriil um I 
There is only one way by which to get 
rid of bui* faults and weaknesses, and that ’ 
is by correctly appreciating them. All 
that is needed lies latent in the human 
soul and can be evoked. It is even 
*• possible for a man to improve his under- 
standing and his reason, if in repose he 
makes it clear to himself why he is weak 
in this respect. Self-knowl®%e of this ’ i 
kind is naturally diflicult, for the tempta- i 
tion to deceive oneself is immeasurably - 


I 


r 


( 200 ) 

great. He who is accustomed to be 
truthful with himself has opened the 
' portals into a deeper insight. 

All curiosity must fall away from the 
student. He must wean himself as muck 
as possible from inquiries into matters 
j of which he only wishes to know for the 
^ j gratification of his personal thirst for 
* knowledge. He must only ask himself 
what things will assist him in the perfec- 
tion of his innermost being for the service 
of the general evolution. Nevertheless, 
his delight in knowledge and his devotion 
to it must in no degree become relaxed. 
He must listen devoutly to all that con- 
tributes to such an end, and should seek 
every opportunity of doing so. 

I For this interior culture it is especially »' 
Inecessary that the llesire-life should be 
Icarefully educated. One must not be- 
come wholly destitute of desire, for if we 
are to attain to something it is necessary 
that we should desire it, and a desire will 


0 


( 201 ) 

always be fulfilled if a certain special force 
be behind it. This particular force results 
from a right knowledge : “ Do not desire 
at all until you know the true conditions 
^of any sphere.” That is one of the golden 
rules for the occult student. The wise i 
man first ascertains the laws of the world, | 
and then his desires become powers which|| 
realise themselves. Let us consider an 
e^mpie in which the effect is evident. 
There are certainly many who would like 
to learn from their own intuition some- 
thing about their life befprg^.l)irth. Such ] 
a desii^e is altogether aimless, and leads toj 
no result s o long as t he person i n qu estion 1 
has not acquired a knowledge of the laws I 
that govern the nature of the"Eternai, and 
• a knowledge of them in their subtlest and | 
most intimate character. But if he has i 
actually acquired this knowledge and then 
wishes to pass onward, he is able to do so 
by his elevated and purified desire. 

Moreover, it is of no use to say to one- 


: 


( 202 ) 

self : “ Yes, I will forthwith, examine my 
previous life, and learn witli that very aim 
in view.” One must rather be ready to 
abandon this desire, to eliminate it alto- 
gether, and learn, first of all, without con-'^ 
sidering this aim. One should cultivate 
devotion to what is learnt without regard 
to such an end. It is only then that one 
begins to possess the desire which we are 
considering, in such a way that it leads to 
its own fulfilment. 

If one is angry o r . vexed, a wall arises 
in the ^iritual^ w^^ and those forces 
which would open the eyes of the soul 
are shut away. For example, if someone 
should annoy me, he sends forth a current 
into the world of the soul. So long as 
one is capable of annoyance, one cannot 
see this current. One’s own annoyance 
i clouds it. But neither must it be 
I supposed that when one feels annoyed no 
I longer, one wiU see a n astral yLsion . For 
this it is indispensable that the eye of the 


( 203 ) 

soul should be already developed ; but the s,;, 
capacity for sight of this kind is latent in ' 
everyone. It is true that so long as one ,/ ' I- ? 
is capable of being annoyed it remains 
inoperative ; but at the same time it is not 
immediately present as soon as one has 
overcome to a small extent this feeling 
of annoyance. One must continue to per- 
severe in the struggle with such a feelings 
and patiently make progress : then, somej 
day, one will find that this eye of the soul 
has become developed. Of course aimpy-' 
ance is not the only quality with which 
we have to struggle before attaining this 
end. Many people grow impatient or 
sceptical, because they have for years 
cSmTBated certain qualities of the soul 
• and yet clairvoyance has not ensued. 

They have only developed some qualities 
and have allowed others to run wild. 

The gift of clairypyaaae...fir§t^.j^ 
itself when all those , qualities yvhich do| 
not permit the development of the latent* 


# 


r 


( 204 ) 

faculties are suppressed. Undoubtedly 
the beginnings of such hearing and seeing 
may appear at an earlier period, but these 
are only young and tender shoots which 
are subject to ail possible error, and which, 
if they be not carefully fostered, may 
quickly die ojBT. 

To the qualities which, like anger and 
jVexation, have to be combated, belong 
I such as a^ition, timidity, curiosity, super- 
stition, conceit, the disease of prejudice, 

: a needless love of gossip, and the making 
^ of distinctions in regard to human beings 
i according to the merely outward marks 
• of rank, sex, race, and so forth. In our 
time it is difficult for people to compre- 
hend that the combating of such qualities 
can have any connection with an increase 
? |.of capacity for knowledge. But every 
* ||devotee of Occiiltism is aware that much 
k‘ (jinore depends upon such matters than 
j I upon the expansion of the intellect or the 
Y' > ^employment of artificial practices. It is 


m 


% 




( 206 ) 

particularly easy for a misunderstanding 
of this point to arise, inasmuch as many 
believe that one should cultivate fool- 
hardiness because one must be fearless ; 
that one ought to ignore altogether the 
differences in men because one has to 
combat the prejudices of race, rank, and 
so forth. Rather does one first learn 
to appreciate these differences correctly, 
when one is no longer entangled in pre- 
judice. Even in the usual sense it is true 
that a fear of any phenomenon baulks one 
from estimating it rightly ; that a race- 
prejudice prevents one from looking into 
a man's soul. The stu dent of Occultism 
must bring his common-sense to perfec- 
tion in all its exactitude and subtlety. 

, • ’ Even everything that a man says jvith- 

out having clearly thought it out will 
place an obstacle in the path of his occult 
educatiohT At the same time we must 
here consider one noint which can only be 
el^Sidatedbx,,^g;.jfi^^ Thus, 


r 


( 206 ) 

if anyone should say something to which 
one must reply, one should be careful to 
consider rather the intention, the feelings, 
even the prejudices of this other person, 
than what one has to say at the momentT 
on the subject under discussion. In other 
jwords, the student must apply himself 
Ikeenly to the cultivation of a certain Jhiie 
Itagt. He must learn to judge bow much 
it may mean to this other person if his 
opinion be opposed. But he ought not, 
for this, reason, to withhold his ^ jQjwn 
opinion. This must not be imagined for 
a moment. One must give to the speaker 
as careful a hearing as possible, and from 
what one has heard should formulate 
one’s own reply. In such cases there is 
a certain thought which will constantly 
recur to the student, and he is treading 
the true path if this thought becomes so 
vital within him that it grows into a trait 
of his character. The thought is as 
follows : “ It is not a question of whether 




( 207 ) 

my view be difiPerent from his, but whether 
he will discover the right view for himself 
if I am able to contribute something to- 
wards it.” By thoughts of such a kind, i 
'the mode of action and the character of ’ 
the student will be permeated with gentle- 
ness, one of the most essential qualities 
for the reception of occult teaching. 
Harshness only scares away that internal 
image which ought to be evoked by the 
eye of the soul, but by gentleness are 
obstacles cleared from the way, and inner 
organs opened. 

Along with this gentleness another trait I 
will presently be developed in the soul..| 
He will make a quiet estimate of all the 
subtleties in the soul-life around him,. 
• without considering the emotions of his 
own soul. And if this condition has been 

attained, the soul-emotions in the environ-. 

\ 

ment of anyone will have such an effect 
on him that the soul within him grows, 
and, growing, becomes organised, as a plant 


( 208 ) 

, expands in the sunlight. Gentleness 
and quiet reserve, and along with these 
true patience, open the soul to the world 
of souls, and the spirit to the region of 
■spirits. Persevere in repose and retire-" 

* ment ; close the senses to that which they 
brought you before you began your train- 
ing; bring into utter stillness all those 
thoughts which, in accordance with your 
previous habits, were tossed up and down 
within you ; become quite still and silent 
within, wait in patience, and then will the 
higher worlds begin to develop the sight 
of your soul and the hearing of your spirit. 

Do not suppose that you will immediately 
see and hear in the worlds of soul and 
spirit, for all that you are doing does 
fbut help the development of your higher ^ 
/senses, and you will not be able to see 
with the soul and to hear with the spirit 
before you have acquired those senses. 
When you have persevered for a time 
in repose arid retirement, then go about 




( 209 ) 

your daily affairs, having first imprinted 

upon your mind the thought : “ Some day, 

when I am ready, I shall attain what I am . ,, ^ 

to attain.” Finally: “Make no attempt 

whatever to attract any of these higher 

powers to yourself by an effort of the , . • 

vrill.” These are instructions which every V 

occult student receives from his teacher 

at the entrance of the way. If he observes 

them, he then perfects himself; and if he 

does not observe them, all his labour is in 

vain ; but they are only difficult of achieve- i 

ment for him who has not patience and • 

per sever ance. No other obstacles exist ? 

save only those which one sets for oneself, 

and these may be avoided by anyone if 

he really wills it. It is necessary to con- 

T;inually insist upon this point, because 

many people form an altogether wrong 

conception of the difficulty that lies in 

the path of occultism. In a certain sense, 

it is easier to accomplish the earlier steps 

of this way than it is for one who has re- 

14 




( 210 ) 

ceived no occult instruction to get rid of 
the difficulties of every-day life. In addi- 
tion to this, it must be understood that 
I only such things are here imparted a s are 
I attended by no danger to the health oi 
soul or body. There are certain other 
ways wHich lead more quickly to the goal, 
but it is not well to treat of them publicly, 
because they may sometimes have certain 
effects on a man which would necessitate 
the immediate intervention of an experi- 
enced teacher, and at all events would 
require his continual supervision. Now, 
as something about t hese qn iifikej ways 
frequently forces itself into publicity, it 
becomes necessary to give express w§£ning 
against entering upon them wiUiout . per- 
sonal guidance. For reasons which only^ ^ 
the initiated can understand, it will never 
be possible to give public instruction con- 
cerning these other ways in their real 
form, and the fragments which here and 
there make their appearance can never 




% 

# 

( 211 ) 

lead to anything profitable, but may easily 
result in the undermining of health, 
fortune, and peace of mind. He who i 
does not wish to put himself in the power I ^ 
*of certain dark forces , of whose nature I V' 
and origin he can know nothing, had far 'J 
better avoid meddling in such matters. ^ 
Something may here be added concern- 
ing the environment in which the practices 
of occult instruction ought to be under- 
taken. For this is not without importance, 
though for almost every man the case is 
different. He who practises in an environ- 
ment which is only fiUed with selfish 
interests, as, for example, the modern 
struggle for existence, ought to be sure 
that these interests are not without their 
•influence upon the development of his 
spiritu^ organs. It is true that the inner 
laws of these organs are so powerful that 
this influence cannot be fatally injurious. 

Just as a lily, though placed in an environ- j 
ment, however inappropriate, can nevei| 


# 


become a thistle, so too can the eye of 
the soul never grow to anything but its 
destined end, even although it be subjected 
to the influence of modern cities. But 
it is well if, under all circumstances, 
the student should now and then seek for 
his environment the quietude, the inner 
dignity, the sweetness of Nature herself. 
Especially fortunate are the conditions of 
him who is able to carry on his occult 
instruction altogether in the green world 
of plants, or among the sunny mpuntains 
or the delightful interplay of simple things. 
This develops the inner organs in a 
harmony which can never be present in a 
I modem city. He also is more favourably 
' sitjiated than the mere townS!tn.an, who, 
during his childhood at least, was able to ^ 
breathe the perfume of the pines, to gaze 
on the snowy peaks, or observe the silent 
activity of woodland creatures and insects. 
Yet no one who is obliged to live in a city 
should fail to give his evolving soul and 


( 213 ) 

spirit the nurture that comes from the 
inspired utterances of the mighty teachers 
of man. He who cannot every spring- 
time follow day by day the unfolding of 
the greenwood, ought in its place to draw 
into his heart the sublime doctrines of the 
Bhoogavad CHtdf or of St. JohnJs Gospel, 
or 01 Thomas a Kenipis. There are many 
paths to the summit of insight, but a 
right selection is indispensable. 

Idle, adept in occultism jpould, indeed, 
say much concerning these paths — much 
that might seem strange to an uninitiated 
hearer. For exam ple, suppose that some- 
one has advanced far along the occult path : 
he may be standing at the very entrance 
to the sight of the soul and the hearing 
« * of the spirit, and then he has the good 

fortune to pass over the peaceful, or it 
may be the tempestuous, ocean, and a 
bandage falls away from the eyes of his 

soul. Suddenl y he^can^seg,, AdMenlx^ h ^ 

attains to v ision . Another, it may be, has 


advanced so far that this bandage only 
needs to be loosened, and by some stroke 
j of destiny this occurs. On someone else 
i this very stroke might actually have the 
I effect of paralysing his powers and under- 
\ mining his energy, but for the occult 
I student it becomes the occasion of his 
I enlightenment. Perhaps a third has 
patiently persevered for years, and with- 
out any marked result. Suddenly, while 
tranquilly seated in his quiet chamber, 
ligh t jenyelops him, the walls become 
transparent, they vanish away, and a new 
world expands before his opened eyes, or 
is audible to his awakened spirit. 




THE CONDITIONS OF 
DISCIPLESHIP 


The conditions of entrance into an occult 
school are not of a nature to be formu- 
lated by anyone in an arbitrary way. They 
are the natural outcome of occult know- 


ledge. Just as a man will never become . 
a painter if he does not choose to handle a 1 
paint-brush, so can no one receive occult I 
training if he is unwilling to fulfil the 
"claims which are put forward by the/ 
occult tgafeber- fact, the teacher can' 
give nothing except advice, and it is as 
such that everything he states ought to 
be considered. He has already trodden 


the probationary path which leads to the 
216 

• / 


knowledge of higher worlds. From ex- 
perience he knows what is necessary, 
and it all depends on the free will of each 
particuTar person whether he chooSes to 
follow the same path or not. If anyone, 
without intending to satisfy the con- 
ditions, should demand occult training 
from a teacher, such a demand would be 
as much as to say ; “ Teach me to paint, 
but do not ask me to handle a brush.” 
The occult teacher never goes a step 
further, unless it be in accord with the 
free will of the recipient. But it must 
be emphasised that a general desire for 
higher knowledge is not sufficient, and 
many will probably have such a desire. 
With him who has merely this vague 
desire, and is not prepared to accept th^ 
spe^iad, conditions of the occult '^^teach.'gr, 
the latter, for the present, can do nothing. 
This ought to be kept in mind by those 
who complain that occult teachers do not 
“ meet them half way.” He who cannot, 


( 217 ) 

or will not, fulfil the severe conditions j 
necessary, must for the present abandon ^ 
occult training. It is true that the con- | ' / ' 
ditions are, indeed, severe, and yet they 
are not hard, since their fulfilment not ; 
only ought to be, but must be, an 

altogether voluntary deed. 

To him who does not remember this 
it is easy for the claims of the occult 
teacher to seem a coercion of the soul or 
the conscience ; for the training here men- , 
tinned is founded on a development of 
the inner life, and it is the work of thej 
teacher to give advice concerning it. ; 

And yet if something be demanded as ’ 

the result of free choice, it cannot be 
considered as a fetter. If anyone sayja to 
« * the teacher : “ Give me your se gCfits, but 

leave me m y custo mary sensatlpiis, fe 
ings^liSS thoughts,” be is then making 
an Impossible dem and. Such a one 
desires no more than to sat isfy his 

curiosity, his thirst for knowledge, and 

' / 


by one who takes an attitude like this, 
occult knowledge can never be obtained. 

Let us now consider in their right 
order the conditions of discipleship. It 
should be emphasised that the complete 
fulfilment of any one of these conditions 
is by no means demanded, but only the 
efibrt after such fulfilment. No one can 
altogether fulfil these conditions, but the 
path which leads to their fulfilment may 
be entered by everyone. It is the will 
that matters, the attitude taken when 
entering the path. 

1. The condition is the directing 
of the attention to the advancement of 
bodily and spiritual health. Of course, 
discipleship does not in the first place 
depend on the health of a man, but every- 
one can endeavour to improve in this 
respect, and pflly from a healthy naan may 
ptaceed a healthy perception. No occult 
teacher would refuse a man who is not 
healthy, but it is demanded that the 


( 219 ) 

pupil should have the desir e for a health y 
life. In this respect he must attain the 
greatest possible independence. The good 
counsels of others, which, though generally 
unsought, are received by everybody, are 
as a rule superfluous. Each must en- 
deavour^ to take care of , h i ms elf From 
the physical aspect it will be more a 
matter of warding off harmful influences 
than of anything else. For in carrying- 
out one’s duty one has often to do things 
which are disadvantageous to health. One ; 
must learn how, at the right moment, to 
place duty higher than the care of health ; 
but with a little good-will, what is there 
that cannot be omitted ? Duty must in^] 

higher, 4hin| 

• T iealth . o ften, in deed, than life itself, but;! 
the disciple must never put pleasured 
higher than these. Pleasure for him can 
only be a means to health and life, and in 
respect of this it is absolutely necessary 
that we should be quite honest and truth- 


ful with ourselves. It is of no avail to 
lead an ascetic life so long as it is born of 
motives like those that give rise to other 
enjoyments. There are some people who 
find satisfaction in asceticism as others in 
wine-bibbing, but they must not imagine 
that asceticism of this kind will assist 
them to attain the higher knowledge. 
Many ascribe to their unfavourable circum- 
stances everything which apparently pre- 
vents them from making progress in this 
direction. They say that with their con- 
iditions of life they cannot develop them- 
selves. For other reasons it may be 
desirable for many to change their con- 
ditions of life, but no one need do so for 
the purpose of occult training. For this 
it is only necessary that one should do for" 
one’s health so much as one finds possible 
( in the position one holds. Every kind of 
work may serve the whole of humanity, 

: and it is a surer sign of greatness in 
the human soul to perceive clearly how 


necessary for the whole is a petty — ^per- 
haps even an unlovely — employment than 
to think : “ This work is not good 
enough for me : lam destined for some- 
thing else.” It is especially important; 
for the disciple to strive after complete 
spiritual health. In any case, an unhealthy 
emotional or thought -life leads one 
away from the path to higher knowledge. 
The foundations here consist of clear, 
calm thinking, reliable conceptions, and 
stable feelings. Nothing should be more 
alien to the disciple than an inclination 
toward a whimsical, excitable life,, tcward i 
i mrvo usiiess, intoxication, andTjanaticism. 
He should acquire a healthy outlook on 
ajj^^the circumstances of life ; he should 
* go i&rough life steadily and should let 
things act on him and speak tp him 4ft all 
tranquillity. Wherever it is possible he 
should endeavour to do justice to life. 
Everything in his tastes'linH criticisms 
which is one-sided or extray agm^ t ought 


( 222 ) 

to be avoided. If this be not so, the 
disciple will strand himself in a world of 
his own imagination, instead of touching 
the higher worlds, and in place of truth 
his own favourite opinions will assert 
themselves. It is better for the disciple 
to be “ matter-of-fact ” than overwrought 
and fanciful. 

2. The second condition is that one 
should feel oneself as a link in the general 
life. Much is included in the fulfilment 
of this condition, but each can only 
fulfil it after his own manner. If I am 
I a school teacher and my pupil does not 
J answer what is desired of him, I must 
I first direct my feeling not against the 
- pupil but against myself. I ought to 
myself so much at one with my pupiL'that * % 
I ask, pay self: “May not that in the 
pupil which does not satisfy my demand 
be perhaps m y o wn fault 1 ” Instead of 
directing my feelings against him, I shall 
rather cogitate on the way in which I 


( 223 ) 

ought myself to behave, so that the pupil 
may in the future be bettor able to .satiafy 
my demands. From such a manner of 
thinking there will come gratlually a 

* change over the whol(5 mental al tituile. 
This holds good for the amalleat as well 
as for tHd greatest. From this point of 
view I look on a criminal, for instanct*, al- 
together diffbrentiy from the way I should 
have looked upon him of old. I HU8|)eud 
my judgment and think to mysedf : •' I 
am only a man as he is, I’erhaps thi> 
education which, owing to favourable 
circumstances, has been mine, and nothing 
else, has saved me from a similar fate.” 
I may even come to the conclusion that if 
the teachers who took pains with mo had 

• donfl^he same for him, this brother of 
mine would have been quite different, 1 
shall reflect on the fact that something 
which has been withheld from him has 
been given to me, and that I may, perhaps, 
owe my goodness to the fact that he has 


r 


( 224 ) 

been thus deprived of it. And then will 
it no longer be difl&cnlt to grasp the con- 
ception that I am only a link in the whole 
of humanity, and that consequently I, 
too, in part, bear the responsibility for "" 
everything that happens. By this it is 
not implied that such a thought should 
be translated immediately into external 
action. It should be quietly cultivated 
in the soul. It will then express itself 
gradually in the outward behaviour of a 
person, and in such matters each can 
begin, jauly by reforming himself It were 
/futile, from such a standpoint, to make 
general claims on all humanity. It is 
^ easy to form an idea of what men ought 
to be, but the disciple works, not on ^e 
|Surface, but, in the depths. And, t^ere- ^ 
ifore, it would be wrong if one should 
lendeavour to bring these demands of the 
I occult teacher into relation with any 
external or political claims. As a rule, 
political agitators know well what can be 

X " " 





( 225 ) 


demanded of other people, but they say 
little of demands on themselves. 

3. Now with this the third condition 
for occult training is intimately connected. 
The student must be able to realise the 
idea that his thoughts and feelings are as 
important for the world as his deeds. It* 
must be recognised that it is as pernicious 
to hate a fellow-being as to strike him. 
One can then discern also that by per - 
fecting oneself one accomplishes spme-j 
thing not only for oneself but for thf 
whole world. The world profits by one’l 
pure thoughts feelings as much as^ 
by one’s good behaviour, and as long as 
one cannot believe in this world-wide im- 
portance of one’s inner Self, one is not fit 
for^iscipleship. Only when one works 
at ones inner Self as if it were at leas| 
as important as all external things, only 
then is one permeated with a true con* 
ception of the soul’s importance. Onl 
must admit that one’s fe^ings produce 


an effect as much as the action of one’s 
hand. 

4. In so saying we have already men- 
tioned the fourth condition : the idea that 
I the real being of man does not lie in the 
I exterior but in the interior. He who 
regards himself as merely a product of 
the outer world, a result of the physical 
world, cannot succeed in this occult train- 
ing. But he who is able to realise this 
conception is then also able to distinguish 
i bet\^n inner duty and external success. 
He learns to recognise that the one cannot 
at once be measured by the other. The 
student must learn for himself the right 
mean between what is demanded by his 
external conditions and what he recognises 
to be the right conduct for himself. /f^e ** 
ought not to force upon his envirc^ament 
anything for which it can have no apprecia- 
tion, but at the same time he ipus t he al- 
I together free from the desire to do merely 
what can be appreciated by those around 


m 


( 227 ) 

him. In his own sincere and wisdom- j 
seeking soul, and only there, must he look j 
for the recognition of his truths. But; 
from his environment he must learn as 
much as he possibly can, so that he may 
discern what those around him need, and 
what is of use to them. In this way he ‘ 
will develop within himself what is known 
in occultism as the “ spiritual bakryge.’’ 
On one of the scales there lies a heart 
open for the needs of the outward world, 
and on the other lies an inner fortitude 
and an unfaltering endurance. 

5. And here, again, we have hinted at ? 
the condition: firmness in the carry- 
ing out of any resolution when once it 1 
l^g^beeh. Iftade. Nothing should induce 
th^disciple to deviate from any such 
resolution when once it has been made, 
save only the p erce ption that he has made 
a mistake* Every resolution is a force, 
and even if such a force does not produce 
immediate effect on the point at which it 




# 

m’ 


( 228 ) 

was directed, nevertheless it works in its 
own way. Success is only of great im- 
portance when an action arises from 
j desire, but aU actions which are rooted 
I in desire are worthless in relation to the 
I higher worlds. There the love expended 
on an action is alone of importance. In 
this love, all that impels the student to 
perform an action ought to be implanted. 
Thus he will never grow weary of again 
and again carrying out in action some 
resolution, even though he has repeatedly 
ifailed. And in this way he arrives at the 
I condition in which he does not first wait 
I for the external effect of his actions, but is 
I contented with the doing of them; He 
’Will learn to sacrifice for the world hjs 
actions, nay, more, his whole being, i^ath- 
out caring at all how it may receive his 
sacrifice. He who wishes to become a 
! I disciple musl^ declare him^^ 

|saffli^c e. an offering, such as this. 

6. A sixth condition is the development 


of a sense of gratitude with regard to 
everything which relates to Man. One 
must realise that one’s existence is, as 
it were, a gift from the entire universe. 
Only consider all that is needed in order 
that each of us may receive and maintain 
his existence ! Consjder what we owe to 
N^ure and to ot^er men ! Those who 
desire an occult training must be inclined 
toward thoughts like these, for he who 
cannot enter into such thoughts will be 
incapable of developing within himself that* 
all-inclusiye love which it is necessary. to|j 
possess before, one can attain to, ,hi^ei|/ 
knowledge. That which we do not love* 
cannot manifest itself to us. And every! 
mgnifestation must fill us with gratitude, i 
as vb ourselves are the richer for it. 

7. All the conditions here set forth 
must be united in a sevent h : to regard lif e 
c ontinually in the manner dem^ l&d by 
these conditions. The student thus makes 
irprasibie to give to his life the stamp of 


# 

m 



( 230 ) 

uniformity. All his many modes of ex- 
pression will, in this way, be brought into 
hxirnwny, and cease to contradict each 
other. And thus he will prepare himself 
for the peace which he must attain during 
the preliminary steps of his training. 

If a person intend, earnestly and sin- 
cerely, to fulfil the conditions mentioned 
above, he may then address himself to a 
teacher of Occultism. The latter will then 
be found ready to give the first words of 
counsel. Any external formality will only 
consist of giving to these conditions a 
complete expression, but such formalities 
can only be imparted to each individual 
candidate, and are not without their own 
value, since everything interior 
manifest itself in an exterior way. 
as a picture cannot be said to be here 
when it exists only in the brain of the 
painter, so, too, there cannot be an 
occult training without an external ex- 
pression. 



External forms are regarded as worth- 
less only by those who do not know that 
the internal must find expression in the 
external. It is true that .it is the spirit 
and not the form that really matters ; but 
just as the form is void without the spirit, 
so would the spirit remain inactive so 
long as it should not create a form. 


Th ^tipulate d wnditions are so designed 
that they may render the disciple strong 
enough to fulfil the further demands which 
the teacher must tcake. If he be faulty 
in the fulfilment of these conditions, then 
before each new demand he will stand 


hesitating. Without this fulfilment hej 
will be lacking in that j^^ h in man which i 
necessary for him to possess ; for ajj 
fai^ in man and a geuuwe lom for jwan, 
all, striving after tEUtL.mttSfi.,bft»f!^^ 
And the love of man must be slowly j 
widened out 



creatures, nay, indeed, for all existence.'; 
He who fails to fulfil the conditions here’ 





( 232 ) 

; given will not possess a perfect love for 
j ail up-building, for all creation, nor a 
I tendency to abstain from aU destruction 
I and annihilation as such. The disciple 
must so train himself that, not in .deeds 

t only, but also in words, thoughts, and feel- 
ings, he will never destroy anything .,fo^ 
the sake of destruction. He must find 
his pleasure in the growing and creating 
aspect of things, and is only justified in 
assisting the destruction of anything when 
by destroying he is able to promote a new 
life. Let it not be thought that in so 
saying it is implied that the disciple may 
suffer the triumph of evil, but rather that 
pe^^st^jesdeavour. to find even m the 
|pad those aspects through which he 
| hange it m tcusood. He will see 
Ind more clearly that the Jbest way t o 
combat imperfection -.and- eyil.. in-^he 
creation of_the poritect aodJhagood. The 
student knows that nothing can come 
from nothing, but also that the imperfect 


( 233 ) 

may be changed into the perfect. He | |' 
who develops in himself the tendency to ji 
cr^te, win soon, find the capacity for|| 

...... ..... ..... . ..... ... V... ; ....'Ji. . ■■ || 1 ., 

facing the evil. 

He who enters an occult school must be 
quite sure that his intention is to construct 
by means of it, and not to destroy. The| 
st udent ough t, therefore, Jtft., bring, with f 
hii^J.he will for sincere and dpyoted w^rhi 

a,nd not the desire tp nriiicis.e md.^^4^ I 

He ought to be capable of devotion, for 
one should be anxious to learn what 
one does not yet know ; he, should iopk 

Work and devotion, these are the funda- 
mentel attributes which must be claimed 
^rom the disciple. Some have to learn that 
th^ do not make real progress in the 
school, even if in their own opinion they 
are unceasingly active; they have not 
grasped in the right manner the meaning 
of work and meditation. The work which | 
is done for the sake of success will be the | 


least successful, and that kind of learning 
which is undertaken without meditation 
will advance the student least. Only the 
I love of work itself, and not of its fruit, 
i only this brings any advance. If he who 
;is learning seeks for wholesome thoughts 
and sound judgment, he need not spoil 
his devotion with doubts and suspicions. 

The fact that one does not oppose 
some communication which has been 
made, but gives to it due attention and 
even sympathy, does not imply a lack of 
independent judgment. Those who have 
arrived at a somewhat advanced stage 
of knowledge are aware that they owe 
everything to a quiet attention*' and 
assimilation, and not to a stubborn peja. 
sonal judgment. One should alwaygf^- 
member that one does not need to learn 
what one is already able to understand. 

t is of 

importance in an occult school, however, 


Therefore, if one only desires to 
one^ cannot learn any more. Whai 


( 235 ) 

is study : one ought to desire, with heart 
and soul, to be a student ; if one cannot 
understand something it is far better not 
to judge, lest one wrongly condemn ; far 
better to wait until later for a true under- 
standing. The higher one climbs on the u 
ladder of knowledge, the more does onel, , 
require this faculty of calm and devotional 
listening. All perception of truths, all I 
life and activity in the world of spirit, 
become in these higher regions delicate 
and in comparison with the , 

activities of the ordinary mind, and of i 
life in the physical world. The more 
the sphere of a man’s activity widens 
out llefore him, the more transcendent is 
4he nature of the task to be accomplished 
* b)^tiim. It is for this reason that 
although there is in reality only one \ 
possible opinion regarding the higher | 
truths, men come to see them from such ‘ 
different points of view. It is possible | 
to arrive at this one true ^anHpoint if| 

# 



(f, 

r' 


( 236 ) 

through work and devotion, one has so 
risen that one can really behold the truth. 

‘ Only he who, without sufficient prepara- 
tion, judges in accordance with precon- 
ceived ideas and habitual ways of thought, 
can arrive at any opinion which differs 
from the true one. Just as there is only 
one correct opinion concerning a mathe- 
matical problem, so also with regard to 
things of the higher worlds; but before 
one can arrive at this opinion one mujs t 
first prepare oneself. If this were only 
sufficiently considered, the conditions laid 
down by the occult teacher would be sur- 
prising to no one. Trut^h ^d the higher 

and it is true that everyone can and mus|, 
find them for himself ; bi 
I hidden, and may only be 
their deep shafts after the clearance of 
certain obstacles. Only he who has had 
experience in occult science ca n advise 
: how th is may be done. It is advice 



brought up from 


of this kind that is given hy the occult 
teacher. He does not urge a truth on any- 
one; he proclaims no dogma, but points 
out a way. It is true that everyone 
could find this way alone, but only,' 
perhaps, after many incarnations. By^ 
this occult training the way is shortened. 
A person, by means of it, more quickly 
reaches a point from which he becomes 
able to co-operate in those worlds wherein 
the salvation and evolution of man are 
assisted by spiritual work. Thus we have 
outlined as much as may at present be 
communicated concerning the attainment 
of knowledge relating to the higher worlds. 






fit- 


./:vv 






PBIMXKD BT KEILL Aia> CO., LXD., ED1NBI7K6H.